Campus News

Behind the scenes: How Frontier Fiesta comes together

Jose Gonzalez-Campelo/The Cougar

Students get to enjoy a weekend in the “Frontier Fiesta City” right on campus, with the spring event right around the corner.

The student-led festival is the University’s oldest tradition. However, the weekend of fun comes from the hard work of the board’s yearlong efforts. The work to put on Frontier Fiesta goes from May to May, said public relations junior and Fiesta board chair, Bailey Payne.

“We usually get 13,000 to 15,000 attendees. So that’s a really big event and we need a lot of time to plan it. So, we have to start planning in the summer, which is super fun, a little stressful but super fun,” Payne said.

An eight-person board is in charge of putting together the entire weekend. From making reservations for performances, and security to food, these students work for the entire year to build the spring festival on campus. Each director on the board has a unique set of responsibilities that they need to fulfill for the event, Payne said.

The director of productions works with Greek Life organizations for their variety shows and performances. The marketing and carnival booths for Fiesta are overseen by the director of outreach. The fun events such as the mechanical bulls are taken care of by the director of special events. 

The director of development works with sponsors and looks over any organization that would want to table at Fiesta or donate money. The vice chair works on the scholarship as well as the volunteer opportunities at Fiesta while the chair oversees all the departments and represents the organization at the Student Fees Advisory Committee and stakeholder meetings, Payne said.

“Something that’s super unique about Fiesta is that every single one of the directors can look at Fiesta and be like, this is my piece that I did,” Payne said. “As well as look at it as a whole and be like, this is this huge thing that we all did together.”

The director of performances Calvin Pham is in charge of making sure that there are opening and headline acts throughout the weekend. Additionally, Pham works with the student program board to put on the Fiesta concert, arguably one of the highlights of the weekend.

“I’m on a committee of people who choose artists. So, we know that this artist specifically has been trending a lot on TikTok. So, because of good trends, we believe that they make a valuable selection,” Phan said.

On Friday, Fiesta and the Division of Student Affairs announced that the Atlanta-based rapper JID will be the headliner for the free annual concert at the Fertitta Center.

Besides the headliner, the theme for the weekend is, “In my Fiesta Era.” The board wanted to do something that was relevant to the current population and the ongoing era’s theme from Taylor Swift’s tour was a favorite from marketing meetings, Payne said.

“Taylor Swift inspired, but the theme is not Taylor Swift. The theme is just like being in your Fiesta era because I think the internet has kind of taken that turn and ran with it,” Payne said.

The three-day spring festival will be held from April 18-20 and students will be able to attend for free. The oldest tradition on campus is aimed at students to have fun and relax at the end of the school year.

“When you come out to Fiesta, don’t stress about finals, don’t stress about the end of school. Don’t stress about moving out, like just come and have a good time and be in your Fiesta era,” Payne said.

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