Shaq travels to “Ivy League” mosh pit for Fall Fest 

Juliette Gaggini, News Co-Editor

On Friday, Sept. 24, the University held its annual Fall Fest from 5-10 p.m. on the Sojka Lawn. There were a number of fun activities including games, carnival rides, student performers and plenty of food for students to enjoy, as well as a special appearance from DJ Diesel, who was previously known as Shaquille O’Neal. The event was hosted by the Campus Activities & Programs Center (CAP Center) and Core. 

It was a beautiful evening that allowed all the outdoor events to run smoothly. Students enjoyed rides such as a Ferris wheel, a big slide, tornado, Gravitron, Round-Up, an American Ninja Warrior inflatable course and a mechanical bull, among other things. 

Along with the rides, students enjoyed a lot of fun food including corn dogs, fried pickles, spring rolls, and buffalo chicken dip. Ryan Hill ’24 was passionate about the food selection. “I thought it was cool that they had a bunch of different types of food there. About every half hour they opened up a different kind of food, like they had fried-Oreos and nacho tots,” Hill said. 

Before DJ Diesel, a number of student bands performed. “I saw a couple of my friends perform beforehand which was great,” Hill said. 

Though there were many awesome activities and performances at the Fall Fest, many students were most excited about DJ Diesel. Standing at 7’1”, Shaq is a four time NBA Championship winner and Olympic gold medalist. Even during his time as an NBA athlete, Shaq was already DJing and he has now been making music for nearly 30 years.

“Shaq was really cool to see. He was really interactive with the crowd and had a lot of audience participation and even had some people come up on stage,” Hill said.

Caroline Lopez ’24 enjoyed the activities at Fall Fest and had a particularly fun experience meeting Shaq at the event. “Fall Fest was definitely a pleasant surprise. The activities, food, and student performers were great! However, meeting Shaq was the highlight of my night. He is undoubtedly a kind and funny people-person just living his best life as DJ Diesel,” Lopez said. 

Not only did Shaq hype the crowd up, he also dubbed the University an “Ivy League.” Though the school is not actually an Ivy, his energy spread to the crowd and left students with positive feelings about the concert. 

The Bucknellian reached out to Shaq for a quote about his experience at the University, but has yet to hear back as of this publication.

After the Fall Fest events on Sojka Lawn, there was an afterparty at Uptown from 9 p.m.-12 a.m. This event was hosted by Uptown and the CAP Center.

Last year, the annual Fall Fest did not happen because of the COVID pandemic. This made this year’s events even more special to members of the community, both for those who had the opportunity to go to previous Fall Fests on campus as well as people who have never been. 

Two years ago, artist Jay Sean performed at the Fall Fest. Allison Bergeron ’22 remembers the event fondly. “Jay Sean was a fun concert but a one hit wonder celebrity, we all just wanted to hear his song, “Down”. After two years, his concert is still a fond memory but at the time was hilarious. I remember him having to justify his music by saying ‘don’t worry guys these songs are popular in England,’” Bergeron said. 

Some students felt passionately about DJ Diesel’s performance compared to the previous Fall Fest performance by Jay Sean. “I would say that Shaq, sorry I mean DJ Diesel, was a much better concert overall than Jay Sean was. The University has stepped up the game when it comes to actually getting decent performers. I’m excited to see who they invite to campus next year!” Mark ‘Fink’ Mitchell ’22 said.

Students are already excited to hear who next year’s performing artist will be and are enthusiastic after such a great weekend of fun activities with friends. 

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