News

Ahead of Demolition, One Last Hurrah for the Harvard Square Pit at Pit-A-Palooza

News

As Bacow Prepares to Exit, 41 Percent of Surveyed Harvard Faculty Say They are Satisfied with His Performance

News

One Third of Surveyed Harvard Faculty Believe A Colleague in Their Department Was Unjustly Denied Tenure

News

Harvard Asks Judge to Dismiss Comaroff Sexual Harassment Lawsuit

News

Harvard Holds Human Remains of 19 Likely Enslaved Individuals, Thousands of Native Americans, Draft Report Says

Students Sway to Swae Lee at the First In-person Yardfest in Three Years

Rapper Swae Lee took the stage at Yardfest just after 7 p.m. Sunday.
Rapper Swae Lee took the stage at Yardfest just after 7 p.m. Sunday. By Dylan J. Goodman
By Vivi E. Lu, Crimson Staff Writer

Hundreds of students filled Tercentenary Theatre on Sunday to party and dance to rapper Swae Lee, who headlined Yardfest, the College’s annual outdoor spring concert, held in-person for the first time in three years.

Yardfest was canceled due to Covid-19 in 2020 and held virtually in 2021 before making its return to Harvard Yard on Sunday with pre-parties, drinking games, and a handful of ambulance transports.

The concert, hosted by the Harvard College Events Board, featured Dutch DJ Sam Feldt — the mystery “celebrity opener” advertised in Yardfest promotional materials — and two acts from student performers, in addition to rapper Swae Lee.

“I wasn’t expecting it to be this lit, but they definitely put on a good show,” Ali K. Dabaja ’24 said after the performance.

Students swayed to beats by rapper Swae Lee at Yardfest on Sunday.
Students swayed to beats by rapper Swae Lee at Yardfest on Sunday. By Addison Y. Liu

Swae Lee took the stage as students chanted his name, opening with the song “No Type” by Rae Sremmurd — a hip-hop duo featuring Swae Lee and his brother, Slim Jxmmi. His set included some of the pair’s most popular songs, including “Black Beatles” with Gucci Mane, “Come Get Her,” and “This Could Be Us.”

“I’m your guys’ professor — teaching a course on getting lit,” Swae Lee told the Harvard Yard crowd in between songs.

Swae Lee performed several his own songs, including “Sativa” with Jhené Aiko, “Unforgettable” with French Montana, and “Sunflower” with Post Malone.

“I’m the new king on campus,” he told students.

Rapper Swae Lee told the crowd of students at Yardfest that he was their “professor,” since he was “teaching a course on getting lit.”
Rapper Swae Lee told the crowd of students at Yardfest that he was their “professor,” since he was “teaching a course on getting lit.” By Dylan J. Goodman

Sam Feldt took the stage in the late afternoon, playing remixed renditions of popular songs, including “Something Just Like This” by Coldplay and The Chainsmokers, Dua Lipa’s “Don’t Start Now,” and David Guetta’s “Titanium,” featuring Sia. Feldt closed out his act with his latest single, “Follow Me,” with Rita Ora.

Acts performed by the student bands Charles Revival and Yard Bops kicked off the concert just after 4:30 p.m. The two groups won the “Battle for Yardfest” competition held at Sanders Theatre last month.

Isha Agarwal ’24, director of the College Events Board’s Arts and Entertainment Committee, said students were excited to feel part of “this big Harvard tradition.”

“A lot of people were definitely really excited to come back to Yardfest, especially two years off and doing virtual shows,” Agarwal said.

The College limited Yardfest to Harvard ID holders and prohibited re-entry into the event, restrictions that were consistent with the last in-person Yardfest held in 2019. CrimsonEMS, Securitas, and the Harvard University Police Department were present around the Yard.

Isabella E. “Isa” Peña ’24 — a member of The Yard Bops — performed in an afternoon opener.
Isabella E. “Isa” Peña ’24 — a member of The Yard Bops — performed in an afternoon opener. By Addison Y. Liu

Throughout the event, students enjoyed a barbeque dinner in the Yard as well as games such as Jenga and cornhole.

Prior to the concert, students celebrated at “block parties” held by undergraduate houses. The parties included obstacle courses, bouncy houses, and carnival fare.

At the River Central block party in Lowell House’s courtyard, Michael Y. Zhao ’25 described the party as “amazing.”

“We have people coming in from all sorts of different houses, different neighborhoods, you got first-years — everyone from all classes coming together,” Zhao said.

Yousuf “Amiel” Bakshi ’23, co-chair of Mather’s House Committee, said he was “really happy and really excited” about the River East block party turnout.

Students in the crowd jumped and fist-pumped as they enjoyed the loud live music in the typically quiet Yard.
Students in the crowd jumped and fist-pumped as they enjoyed the loud live music in the typically quiet Yard. By Julian J. Giordano

“A lot of this was just trying things out and seeing basically what can work, what doesn’t work, because there’s no institutional memory anymore,” Bakshi said. “But it seems like everything has been a success so far, and people are enjoying themselves.”

David S. Aley ’23-’24, a Crimson Sports editor who was attending his first Yardfest, said it was “great to see Harvard coming together” at the event.

“This is a weekend that has been three years in the making, and it’s great to see Harvard traditions coming back to life,” he said.

—Staff writer Vivi E. Lu can be reached at vivi.lu@thecrimson.com. Follow her on Twitter @vivielu_.

Want to keep up with breaking news? Subscribe to our email newsletter.

Tags
Student GroupsStudent LifeMusic GroupsYardfestFront FeatureFeatured Articles