Digital Diaries Season 3 Episode 8: Northwestern students land on Planet Dillo

Erica Schmitt, Digital Managing Editor



In this season’s final episode of Digital Diaries, Northwestern students share what celebrating Mayfest’s 51st Dillo Day looked like for them.

ERICA SCHMITT: Cue the crowds —

[crowd noise]

ERICA SCHMITT: – the songs –


ERICA SCHMITT: — and the metallic outfits.

ERICA SCHMITT: All of these elements came together on Northwestern’s 51st Dillo Day, run by Mayfest Productions. The largest student-run music festival in the country, Dillo Day, took place May 20 on the Lakefill.


ERICA SCHMITT: From The Daily Northwestern, I’m Erica Schmitt. This is season three, episode eight of Digital Diaries, a weekly podcast following the college experience and asking students questions about life at Northwestern.

ERICA SCHMITT: A couple of weeks ago, we talked with some students about their preparations for Dillo Day and reflected on last year’s event, which involved a lot of cowboy hats and mud. In this episode, we decided it was only fair to highlight what Dillo looked like for Northwestern students this year.

[scribble noise]

ERICA SCHMITT: Weinberg sophomore Anna Deka celebrated her first Dillo Day this weekend with a very early start, like many other students.

ANNA DEKA: We woke up really early, me and my friends, and we went out and they had the bagel situation set up. So it was fun to see everyone else getting bagels, running around campus with their friends and all dressed up.

ERICA SCHMITT: And according to Deka, the day –

ANNA DEKA: lived up to the hype. I was kind of almost nervous about that going in. I was like, ‘Oh, I don’t know.’

ERICA SCHMITT: While she was at University of California, Davis her first year in college, Deka said their school had something called Picnic Day, which was similar to Dillo –– but minus the concerts.

ANNA DEKA: There were parties throughout the day and then stuff happening on campus. And I remember that didn’t end up being as fun as people said it would be, but I feel like Dillo was genuinely a really good time.

ERICA SCHMITT: After a nap, Deka went to the sets for artists Briston Maroney and Offset in the evening.

ANNA DEKA: Since we went for Briston Maroney, we were a little closer to the stage. There were definitely a lot of people there. So it was a very mosh situation where we were but it was just a fun vibe.

ERICA SCHMITT: Deka recommends anyone attending Dillo go to the parties and concerts with friends you feel comfortable with.

ANNA DEKA: I feel like that was helpful just so that we had like a close group that I was with that we sort of traveled with, and like, having a buddy too. Because, at least at the concert, I got separated from half of my friends.

[scribble noise]

ERICA SCHMITT: Unlike Deka, Medill freshman Brandon Kondritz started his first Dillo Day with a restful night of sleep.

BRANDON KONDRITZ: I woke up not as early as some other people that I have heard of. I was up probably around 9:30 – 10:00 (a.m.). My friends and I just kind of hung out for a little bit, had a nice little breakfast moment, and then we went out to the Lakefill and kind of saw some of the groups, enjoyed the weather.

ERICA SCHMITT: Kondritz later got lunch on the Lakefill –

BRANDON KONDRITZ: from the food trucks – a little expensive but that was okay. I feel like the Cheesie’s was well worth it.

ERICA SCHMITT: Kondritz said all of the lying in the sun, combined with the busy morning, left him feeling tired.

BRANDON KONDRITZ: The Dillo midday nap really hit different, I will tell you that. I’m not usually one who takes naps. It really helped recharge me and get me ready to go.

ERICA SCHMITT: Post-nap, he saw a range of artists. But his favorite set? Briston Maroney.

BRANDON KONDRITZ: My friend Kate and I, we got right up at the front against the barricades. So that was super fun and exciting. And I’m glad I got to see him live and in-person. He was even better live than he is recorded, which was exciting.

ERICA SCHMITT: Kondritz left the barricade before the Offset show to listen from the back of the mosh.

[Offset performance]

ERICA SCHMITT: One takeaway from Kondritz’s experience was to:

BRANDON KONDRITZ: Drink some water. For the love of God, please drink water. You’re walking quite a bit, you’re out and about all day, a lot of people were getting up early, staying up throughout the day.
ERICA SCHMITT: Ultimately, Kondritz says he liked the sense of community students built on campus last weekend.

BRANDON KONDRITZ: Dillo Day is a rare occasion because it’s the one time of the year where the whole Northwestern community gets together. I feel like we don’t really see all four grade levels coming together for an event very often. And so I thought that it was super cool to be able to see my friends who are seniors on the Lakefill and be walking with my friends who are freshmen. I thought that that was really neat.

[scribble noise]

ERICA SCHMITT: This was Weinberg senior Lily Meng’s last Dillo Day. Due to COVID-19, she says this was her second year celebrating. And compared to last year:

LILY MENG: I think this year was much better than last year just because the weather was so much better. Overall, it was sunny, not muddy, not rainy.

ERICA SCHMITT: Meng’s apartment was crowded last weekend, with her high school friend from Minnesota and her friends back from studying abroad all staying there for Dillo.

LILY MENG: It was just a lot of people in our apartment getting ready for Dillo, preparing, eating breakfast and it was a little bit chaotic. It was really fun. And then in the morning, we went to some darties and then we came back home, ate lunch and napped.

ERICA SCHMITT: For reference, a “darty” is a day party. Meng’s motto for Dillo Day?

LILY MENG: It’s a marathon, not a sprint.

LILY MENG: I feel like everyone starts off super strong and then goes, ‘Let’s start drinking now, going crazy now,’ and it’s like not necessary. You can chill and just be able to see the performances you want to see. I know in the past, some people have missed performances due to being so exhausted from partying too hard in the morning.

ERICA SCHMITT: Meng’s wisdom worked in her favor. She went to two night shows: Briston Maroeny and Offset.

LILY MENG: I really like Briston Maroney because it was such a vibey time. I was with my best friends and standing under the sunset. And obviously Offset was crazy. Everyone had their phones out, and dancing a lot so it was super fun.

ERICA SCHMITT: Overall, Meng says she had a great time partying hard.

LILY MENG: The next day, we woke up at like 2pm.


ERICA SCHMITT: From The Daily Northwestern, I’m Erica Schmitt. Thanks for listening to the last episode of this season’s Digital Diaries. This episode was reported and produced by me. The audio editor of The Daily Northwestern is Mika Ellison, the digital managing editors are Ava Mandoli and myself, and the editor-in-chief is Alex Perry. Make sure to subscribe to The Daily Northwestern’s podcasts on Spotify, Apple Podcasts or SoundCloud to hear more episodes like this.


Email: [email protected]
Twitter: @eschmitt318

Digital Diaries Season 3 Episode 6: NU Students brace for takeoff with Dillo Day 2023
Digital Diaries Season 3 Episode 7: (Ghost) hunting for the best classes
Digital Diaries Season 3 Episode 5: How NU students keep up with the quarter, clubs, and classes