In an effort to provide students with an alternative event this “fake homecoming” Saturday, Western University’s Student Council has launched PurpleFest, a six hour, large-scale, music festival featuring award-winning artists.
Mitch Pratt, President of the University Student Council says the creation of the event was part of his campaign platform. “We wanted to take the PurpleFest brand and maximize its potential…Moving it to this date and having students be able to celebrate their spirit while also prioritizing safety, in such a large scale concert, was the perfect idea,” Pratt adds.
PurpleFest will be taking place in an enclosed parking lot on campus and will have EMS, London Police, as well as the student response team on site. “We do truly think that for the thousands of students who are going to be attending, this will be a very safe space for them to enjoy a full day of festivities, have a drink if they want to, and enjoy the acts,” he adds.
In 2016, the university moved homecoming to a late October date, a time when students are typically studying for mid-terms and the weather is colder, in an attempt to discourage students from attending unsanctioned street parties. The results were the opposite from what was intended as students decided to party during the new date as well as on the original one. The traditional date for homecoming became known as “fake homecoming,” commonly referred to as FOCO, and has been a popular festivity for Western students for the past two years.
Despite FOCO’s popularity, PurpleFest tickets are sold out online. Pratt says his team has worked very hard for the past two months to make this event one to remember. “We’ve never pulled off a concert of this magnitude before…I think there is a need and a want from students to want to attend large scale programming like this on campus,” he adds.
The event will include a licenced beer garden as well as performances from award-winning American rapper Lil Uzi Vert, Juice Wrld, Murda Beatz, and Western alumni DJ-duo Loud Luxury.
Pratt reminds students that regardless of what they choose to do this Saturday, they need to ensure they celebrate safely. “Make sure to carry your ID. It makes it easier to identify someone that comes through the hospital. Be accountable, be respectful, be good ambassadors of the school, and make sure everyone watches out for one another,” he says.