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Wale and Lil Yachty Draw Hundreds to Yardfest

Students enjoy the balmy weather Friday afternoon during Yardfest. Food and drinks were provided at the event and many students ate outside on the steps of Widener Library.
Hundreds of students filled Tercentenary Theatre Friday evening to watch Wale and Lil Yachty perform at Yardfest, the College’s annual outdoor spring concert.

As the sunlight faded, the headliners took the stage. Confetti spurted from the front of the platform as Wale began his performance. The rap singer performed tracks including “The Matrimony” and “Lotus Flower Bomb,” among his other works.

“All you future millionaires, put your hands up!” Wale called to the audience.

Several students who attended Yardfest said they enjoyed the headliners’ performance.

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“It was a fun time,” Case McKinley ’21 said. McKinley said he was “not much into rap,” but appreciated the need to offer students a wide variety of music. For the past two years, electronic dance music artists have headlined Yardfest.

Near the end of the concert, the performers called for the mosh pits to be opened, and praised one side of the crowd for its superior dancing.

“We not even talking about school right now. We’re gonna turn the fuck up,” Lil Yachty told the crowd before performing his song “Forever Young.”

“All the pretty ladies, DM me,” Lil Yachty said before leaving the stage around 9:05 p.m., when students began to disperse from Tercentenary Theatre.

Twenty-five-year-old Washington, D.C. rapper Wale performs in front of a crowd of cheering students in Tercentenary Theater Friday evening during Yardfest. "All you future millionaires, put your hands up," he said during his set.

The College Events Board, which organizes Yardfest, declined to comment for this story.

In a press release last month, co-chair Jackson M. Grigsby ’20 wrote the “committee has worked extremely hard in the last few weeks and months in preparation for the event, and we expect the concert to be fantastic.”

Yardfest also featured two student opening acts. Student group Disco Band opened the concert, performing “Signed, Sealed Delivered,” “Dancing Queen,” and other disco hits as students munched on burgers and devoured ice cream cones.

Before drifting to Tercentenary Theatre for Yardfest, many students attended neighborhood block parties hosted by the upperclassmen House Committees. The block parties featured bouncy castles, free shirts, and free alcoholic drinks for students over 21.

21 Colorful Crimson, another student group selected as an opening act, followed Disco Band. 21 CC, which comprises 21 Harvard freshmen, named “creativity, inclusion, and love” as its three pillars in an interview ahead of the concert.

The two groups won the “Battle for Yardfest” in Sanders Theatre last month, during which 10 student groups competed to perform at Yardfest. The College Events Board wrote in a preview of Disco Band that they are a 13-person group dedicated to performing music from the 1970s.

“It was really good,” said Max V. Filipchenko ’20. “Disco Band was amazing.”

“They were very interesting, maybe not what we expected, given the performers who were invited,” said Anne E. Carlstein ’20. Other students declined to comment on the opening acts, citing their own drunkenness.

Sporting bro tanks and dancing, students assembled in a tightly packed crowd in front of Memorial Church and bounced a pair of large inflatable beach balls.

“I nearly died a while ago,” Daniel Um ’19 said of the packed crowd.

—Staff writer Luke W. Vrotsos can be reached at luke.vrotsos@thecrimson.com. Follow him on Twitter at luke_vrotsos.

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