Students orbit around Lakefill for Dillo 51
May 22, 2023
Northwestern students waved their phone flashlights in the air at Dillo Day on Saturday as headliner Offset took a moment to remember his late cousin and former Migos member Takeoff.
His performance elicited the biggest audience of the event, with some having camped out at the front of the stage all day to be up close for his highly anticipated set.
Mayfest Productions, along with For Members Only, hosted the event, which is the country’s largest student-run music festival. This year’s celebration on the Lakefill marked the 51st Dillo Day, with an Area 51 space-alien theme: “Planet Dillo.” With blue skies and sunny weather — much more favorable conditions than last year’s cold temperatures and rain — students decked out in accessories like holographic pants, astronaut suits and glitter body paint to celebrate.
For Weinberg freshman Caroline Corr, the festival exceeded expectations, and the sight of students dressed to the nines in space-themed apparel was a highlight.
“Seeing everyone’s outfits was like the Met Gala. Everyone was just so into it,” Corr said.
Battle of the Artists winners Muse etc., DJ Lu and Tavern kicked the day off on the Main Stage with an energetic crowd cheering them on. Student artists FreePlanet and RHOME performed on the FMO stage, followed by featured performers Chef Yeaboy, Zeph France, BIGBABYGUCCI, Lil Kayla and Blvck Svm.
McCormick freshman Ty Bennett said the festival was well put together and added that he loved the constant stimulation from live music, unique decorations for photos and variety of food vendors.
One of Bennett’s favorite moments was seeing BIGBABYGUCCI, whom he didn’t know before Dillo. Bennett said seeing the rapper’s performance made him a big fan and even got the opportunity to take a photo with him after his performance.
“It was just crazy to think, ‘Wow, I’m watching these artists, and if I look 100 feet past the stage, that’s where I do my studying in the library,’” Bennett said.
Weinberg freshman Varun Popli said he appreciates the fact that the University provides undergraduate students the opportunity to both attend and be part of organizing a music festival.
Popli’s favorite parts of the day included eating empanadas from the 5411 Empanadas food truck, seeing Briston Maroney with friends and enjoying the high-energy environment of the campus.
“It’s very much the entire Northwestern community coming together to celebrate the end of the year, which I think is really awesome,” Popli said.
Offset ended the night with an hourlong set featuring songs from Migos albums “Culture” and “Culture II,” as well as fan favorites “Ric Flair Drip,” “ZEZE,” “Clout” and “Slide.” The three-time Grammy nominee was accompanied by DJ Ray G, who pumped the crowd up with popular hits “Just Wanna Rock,” “Crank That (Soulja Boy)” and “Party In The U.S.A.” before Offset began.
While onstage, Offset interacted with the audience by taking a video on a Mayfest member’s phone and even ventured into the crowd to stand on the barricade during “Bad and Boujee,” eliciting joyful screams from the audience.
Corr arrived at the Main Stage during Briston Maroney’s set, where Maroney played his top tracks “Freakin’ Out on the Interstate” and “Under My Skin” — just in time to be in the crowd for Offset’s performance.
Corr said Mayfest’s lineup announcement motivated her to listen to all of the artists on Spotify, but Offset was ultimately her favorite. She described his Migos-filled set as “fun nostalgia” for her and her friends.
“Spending 12-plus hours with my favorite people was definitely a marathon, but I couldn’t have asked for a better time and bonding experience,” Corr said. “It’s so cool to see so many people go all out for something so special to our school community.”
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