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Yardfest 2011 Draws Record Audience

By Monika L. S. Robbins and Hana N. Rouse, Crimson Staff Writers

Harvard was called “one of the best motherf—ing party schools” by Yardfest headliner Far East Movement as they performed in front of a record size audience of current and prospective Harvard students last night.

The event, which also featured The White Panda and Sam Adams, was “the largest Yardfest has ever been,” according to College Events Board Chair Crystal Y. Coser ’12, attracting nearly double the number of students compared to last year.

At 5:30 p.m.—the concert’s scheduled start time—few people were gathered near the stage. Instead, most were enjoying the tire swings and picnic dinner provided specifically for the event.

But four minutes later, when The White Panda took the stage, a crowd quickly formed as students rushed to watch the performers.

While wearing panda masks and crisp white formal wear, The White Panda—a mashup duo comprising Tom Evans and Dan Griffith—mixed combinations of various Top 40 songs on their laptops.

By the time Sam Adams—a 21-year-old rapper and Cambridge native—began to perform, the crowd had grown in size and enthusiasm.

“It’s crazy being home,” Adams said during his introduction.

The crowd jumped and cheered as Adams performed remixes of songs like “I Hate College” and “We No Speak Americano.” One student held up an Adams House flag and another held a sign reading “I heart Sammy.”

The crowd erupted as the Far East Movement took the stage and started performing their song “Girls on the Dance Floor.”

Prohgress—one of the group’s members—surfed the crowd during “Like a G6,” the group’s most popular and highly anticipated song.

“Man, you motherf—ers know how to party!” said one of the group members during the performance. “Harvard in the house tonight!”

One song later, the group abruptly left the stage, but returned to sing “Rocketeer,” another of the group’s well-known singles co-written with Bruno Mars and featuring OneRepublic’s Ryan Tedder.

Students said they were happy with this year’s performance, and many said it was better than last year’s.

“Kid Cudi is good,” Kevin J. Chin ’13 said, in reference to last year’s Yardfest headliner. “But Far East Movement is ten times better.”

This year was the first time Yardfest overlapped with Visitas, the admitted student visiting program—which also attracted a record number of prospective Harvard students this year.

“We did our best to throw a great event for Harvard College undergrads, [despite] any scheduling conflicts that arose,” Coser said. “But the prefrosh added more energy.”

One prefrosh was so excited that, as he sat on a friend’s shoulders, he waved a red admitted student folder in the air.

“[Yardfest] was really fun,” said Andrew B. Liu, an admitted student. “It made me change what I thought of Harvard as a party school.”

This year was also the first time the event was held in Old Yard instead of Tercentenary Theater, a change which many students praised because of the additional space for both the picnic dinner and the concert.

During the concert, parents of admitted students crowded around the gates, unable to enter without a student or prefrosh ID.

—Staff writer Monika L.S. Robbins can be reached at mrobbins@college.harvard.edu.

—Staff writer Hana N. Rouse can be reached at hrouse@college.harvard.edu.

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