Worst Yardfest Ever?

The MSU Spokesman

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In the past, Howard University’s iconic Yardfest has been described as one of the most popular homecoming events in HBCU history.  Year after year, artists such as Drake, Diddy, Wale and many more have graced the stage of the typically free event.

This year was a little different, as the tickets for the event were $5. Even current students were forced to pay in order to gain access to their own campus during the homecoming event.  Many people, donating alumni included, were perturbed about paying a fee to “stand on the grass.”

While waiting on one of the many disorganized lines, a chorus of “What line is this for?” and “How long are we gonna be here?” ensued from the antsy and slightly intoxicated mob of students and their friends. Unfortunately, the understaffed and uninformed security was unable to answer any questions.

Around 4 p.m., enough was enough. Chaos ensued as over 400 people hopped the gate and bum rushed security. About eight people, including two police officers, were hurt during the melee and sent to Howard’s hospital.

According to the Washington Post, Howard University’s student government decision to charge and effort to orchestrate Yardfest clearly backfired. The “yard” was filled with about 14,000 people which is a significant drop from the 22,000 people who attended last year.

“A better job of managing the security should have been done,” stated Howard Senior, Paul Ikhide. The term “better job” is an understatement as Twitter and Instagram accounts were flooded with ways to “sneak “ into the event for free.  The minuscule amounts of security quickly scrambled to cover the doors at the University’s education and fine arts building, where many rowdy guests were sneaking onto the yard.

Despite the security and trampling fiasco, some guests were actually disappointed in the choice of performers for the concert. Having Bone Thugs-n-Harmony as the headliner for a crowd of 21-year-old college students wasn’t the best decision. “I don’t think it was a good idea (to charge), but if you had to do it, at least make it better than the other yardfests that were free,” expressed Ikhide.

While $5 for performances from Juicy J, Big Sean, A$AP Ferg, Bone Thugs-n-Harmony and many more seems like a deal, the crowd was clearly unimpressed.

Repeated attempts of by the Spokesman to contact Yardfest coordinator and Howard junior, Courtney Howard, and other student government staff were unsuccessful. According to an interview with Complex Magazine, “[The University] knows that Yardfest is the biggest Homecoming event, so the way to save Homecoming was to charge for it,” stated Howard.  “Considering what the university brought to us, it’s a way to save Homecoming. If you check the last three years, the dynamic of Homecoming has been changed with bigger artists being recruited instead of emerging artists. That put Homecoming in jeopardy,” said Howard in her interview with Complex. It still unclear if Howard University’s SGA feels Yardfest was successful and if they plan on charging again in the future.