The University of Vermont's Independent Voice Since 1883

The Vermont Cynic

The University of Vermont's Independent Voice Since 1883

The Vermont Cynic

The University of Vermont's Independent Voice Since 1883

The Vermont Cynic

Smoking dope and eating chips at UPB’s SpringFest with Peach Pit

Jackson Palumbo
Peach Pit performs at this year’s SpringFest April 20.

“Smoking dope and eating chips this Saturday in Vermont for the University of Vermont 4/20 show. I dunno if it’s even a 4/20 event but if I’m there it’s gunna be.” 

Peach Pit captioned an Instagram post with this line a few days before taking the stage on the Fleming green to celebrate SpringFest.

The event, put on by the UVM Program Board, began at 1:30 p.m. and included a variety of activities. Two thousand cans of free Red Bull were available to students, and an inflatable obstacle course towered over the green. Additionally, tents dotting the lawn provided space for friendship bracelet making, coloring a mural from SGA, a “Chill Zone” with snacks, water and chairs and local food vendors.

Senior Willow Phoenix works for UPB’s Concert Committee, a group of students who plan musical events on campus. 

“UPB and other organizations put a lot of work and details into the whole day, so it is very rewarding to see it all happen,” Phoenix said. “I love seeing how a large-scale event like this comes together from start to finish, and am lucky enough to have been able to be a part of it.”

Student band, Armanodillo opens SpringFest.
(Jackson Palumbo)

Student band Armanodillo took the stage at 2:00 p.m. The four-person group earned the opening set after winning UPB’s Battle of the Bands, and gave a set of original music, including their recently released singles “Strides” and “Couple More Hours.” 

“I had such a fun time opening SpringFest,” said senior Gabe Bango, drummer for Armanodillo. “I was very nervous going into it because we’ve never played for so many people before, but once we played our first song, I felt really comfortable and was able to relax and enjoy.”

Snail Mail performs their set.
(Jackson Palumbo)

The next opener was Snail Mail, an indie rock solo project for singer-songwriter Lindsey Erin Jordan. The set was fun, and dynamic and had impressive transitions between each song. They played popular songs “Heat Wave” and “Pristine,” and finished their set with “Valentine,” the title track off their latest album. 

“I have been a huge fan of Snail Mail since sophomore year of high school,” said senior Charlie Uffleman, bassist, guitarist and singer for Armanodillo. “It was amazing opening up for her and then being able to hear her set.”

The anticipation grew as the crowd waited for headliner Peach Pit to take the stage. Peach Pit is an indie-pop band from Vancouver, British Columbia.

“I love their guitarist, Chris [Vanderkooy], and he inspired me to start playing guitar,” said sophomore Peter Nicholson, who has had Peach Pit as his top artist on Spotify for two years. 

Vanderkooy’s iconic guitar licks, played over the crowd, and garnered particular excitement when he brought out a guitar made with two fretboards. The set began at 4:00 p.m., and lead singer and guitarist Neil Smith made clever jokes between songs. 

The band was interactive with the audience and brought a lively spirit with lots of dancing. It helped that most of the band members had long hair they could throw around as they bounced around the stage while playing hits like “Vickie” and “Brian’s Movie.”

When the clock struck 4:20 p.m., the crowd erupted with cheers and smoke as Peach Pit played “Black Licorice” and passed a joint around amongst themselves. But the excitement didn’t last long. Shortly after 4:30 p.m., Peach Pit played their hit “Drop the Guillotine” before they were suddenly interrupted.

“There is severe weather on its way to us right now,” announced Lina Balcom, director of Student Life. “It’s dangerous. Unfortunately, we have to evacuate.”

Despite seemingly minor overcast conditions, there was reportedly a severe weather warning near Burlington, and the event was cut short per the National Weather Service’s request. 

The sudden end to SpringFest was disappointing for many students, including sophomore Samantha Santangelo who nearly missed out on the set entirely. Since re-entry wasn’t permitted, Santangelo was planning to catch the last half of Peach Pit’s set.

“It made me sad that I only got to see one song because I planned it so I could see 30 minutes of the set, but they shut it down,” said Santangelo. “If there’s not a tornado, I’m gonna be even more upset.”

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