Alumni Hall was transformed into a dance club scene with flashing bright neon lights and loud music blaring on Friday, March 31. This indicated the successful return of Dogwoods 2.0. In collaboration with the Fairfield University Student Association, GrooveBoston returned to host Dogwoods this year along with DJ Greg T.
Dogwoods, which is a 58-year-old tradition at Fairfield, as reported by the March 16, 2016 issue of The Mirror, underwent a complete and successful overhaul last year. Last year’s event sold 1,100 tickets and 1,060 people attended and two years ago, before the overhaul, only 123 people attended. This year’s event sold 827 tickets. However, only 645 of those students ended up attending the event, according to Assistant Director of Student Engagement Colleen Wilson ’11.
FUSA director of Programming Board and Vice President-Elect Molly Strang ’18 believes that this discrepancy and the lower ticket sales was a result of the rainy and cold weather.
“I definitely think if it was sunny and warm, more people would have gone,” said Strang.
Junior Noelle Crouchley echoed Strang’s feelings toward the weather.
“I would say that the event would have been better if it had a bigger turnout and I think the weather contributed to the lack of attendance,” said Crouchley.
Strang, however, still believes that Dogwoods was a success.
“We had a crowd of people who were there and ready to have fun regardless of the weather,” she said. “I think all of the students love having DJ Greg T open, he has a pretty big following of people who love to dance and have fun which is exactly what we needed for this event.”
Junior Gregory Tchertchian, or DJ Greg T, stated, “It felt absolutely amazing to be a part of this new ongoing tradition again.”
“This year’s Dogwoods, in my opinion, was right next to Dogwoods 2.0 from last year,” Tchertchian added. “We sold more tickets last year but we still managed to have a great show [this year].”
Sophomore Bridget Meuse echoed this sentiment from her experience at the event.
“Dogwoods was so much fun,” said Meuse. “Although it was a bit cold and rainy on the way over, I still had a great time during the concert.”
This year, according to Strang, GrooveBoston is on their tour called “Proximity.” Last year, the tour was called “Ethos.”
“Each year GrooveBoston does a different themed tour,” Strang added. “So every time they change the name of their tour, they personally change the lighting and certain aspects of [the tour].”
Dogwoods also included special fake fire effects that were new from last year. The light theme this year was neon pink and green.
“Logistically it’s the same. It’s the same kind of university party, big, DJ event. But everything from the stage set-up to the orientation in Alumni Hall to the type of music, to the DJ to the whole look is different,” said Danielle Rice ’19, one of the traditional programmers for FUSA.
“We’ve definitely stepped up our game from a few years ago, the attendance definitely shows that,” said Strang in reference to the overhaul. “I don’t think anyone is going to have anything negative to say about it. I think it’s just a fun time.”
Senior Patricia Masi, who is one of the directors of traditional events for the FUSA Programming Board, commented, “GrooveBoston is literally one of the best companies I’ve ever worked with in terms of putting on productions like this. They are so fun. They want the students to be happy and they bounce off the vibes from the crowd.”
Rice stated that everyone looked forward to the event, especially freshmen.
“The freshmen are very excited because they have no experience with Dogwoods or with GrooveBoston,” said Rice before the event.
This was reflected by the ticket sales, as the freshman class bought the largest amount of tickets by far. According to Wilson, freshmen purchased 403 tickets. At the same time, sophomores purchased 245 and juniors purchased 120. Seniors only purchased 27 tickets.
If this year’s Dogwoods proved anything, it is that last year’s revamp continues to have a positive impact.