ASUC SUPERB announces lineup for BearFest

Julie Liu/Staff

ASUC SUPERB, in partnership with the ASUC executives and the Office of Executive Vice President Lavanya Jawaharlal, have unleashed the headlining acts and schedule for BearFest, an evening music festival taking place Thursday beginning at 5 p.m.

BearFest is designed to transplant the appeal of music festivals without wallet-gouging prices and inordinate flower-crown donning and water-backpack toting masses.

Centralized within the MLK Student Union, BearFest will kick off in earnest with an array of events on Lower Sproul at 5 p.m., including free burgers and snacks, photo booths, inflatables and arcade games.

“With BearFest at the start of spring break, students can celebrate the end of midterms,” said ASUC Executive Vice President Lavanya Jawaharlal in an email to the Daily Californian.

But the evening festival has an added community-oriented touch. Working in collaboration with the UC Berkeley Food Pantry, an emergency food support source available to all UC Berkeley undergraduate and graduate students, part of BearFest’s mission is to heighten awareness of food security on the Berkeley campus. In order to gain entry to BearFest, UC Berkeley students must bring a canned good along with their Cal 1 Card — all donated items will go directly to the Food Pantry.

Ultimately, BearFest’s main draw is its musical headliners. Rising stars from the EDM and hip-hop worlds are set to showcase their craft right at the turning points of their respective careers.

Canadian EDM import Sleepy Tom specializes in funky, garage-inflected music equally tailor-made for the airwaves and the nightlife. With remixes from house and rave staples such as Porter Robinson and Zeds Dead under his belt, his nascent rise to prominence is well-deserved. Sleepy Tom’s breakthrough to the masses is “Be Right There,” a collaboration with popular EDM gate-bearer Diplo. The twitchy house tune, with its silky ‘90s R&B hook and astronomic bass, is bound to be a future rave staple.

Tennessee-based hip-hop artist and headlining act Isaiah Rashad is perhaps best known as an associate with Top Dawg Entertainment, the renowned label and collective that rap heavyweights such as Kendrick Lamar and Schoolboy Q call home. But after the release of his debut mixtape under Top Dawg, Cilvia Demo, Rashad has invariably forged his own lane in the crew by infusing some Southern-rap flair within the collective. And as Rashad is preparing to release his debut album in the months ahead, he’s invariably evolving as an MVP in the rap game.

With a set of student DJs rounding out the night, BearFest will be one for the books.

BearFest will start on Lower Sproul at 5 p.m. The show is for UC Berkeley students only. Bring your Cal ID and a canned good for admission.

Joshua Bote is the assistant arts & entertainment editor. Contact him at [email protected]. Tweet him at @joshuaboat.