Dixie Fest huge success, paves way for future

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After attendees filtered onto the old airport strip and American Authors took the stage, the unexpected reigned out: silence.

Two songs into American Author’s set at Dixie Fest 2K14, a power outage cut lead singer Zac Barnett’s vocals; it happened again after the band’s performance resumed. In those quiet moments, group members tossed their coats and wondered out loud if trying to get through the set list was worth it.

American Authors started playing once more, though, and set the tone for this year’s spring concert.

Dixie State University students, St. George community members, and spring breakers attended the inaugural Dixie Fest March 7 to see American Authors perform and to participate in disc jockey Marcus Wing’s Uprising: The Paint Fight. DSU student association leaders faced numerous planning conflicts prior to the event, and the power outage created another hurdle. However, student government’s Dixie Fest paved the way for future installments.  


Building a Tradition  

Jordyn Hanevold, DSUSA vice president of student life and a senior communication major from Logandale, Nev., said the idea of an annual Dixie Fest allowed DSUSA to plan more than just the traditional concert. 

“It kind of opens up doors for new things,” Hanevold said. “We’re not limited; there are a lot of things people can expect, which is a good thing because we want [Dixie Fest] to be a really good destination for all college students.”

Hanevold said Dixie Fest 2K14’s diverse slate of events will provide DSUSA  with endless opportunities to plan Dixie Fest in the future. Students expect the spring concert will be one of the year’s most note-worthy events, and if student government members can mesh great ideas like they did this year, she said the event could mean more headline acts like American Authors.


The crowd at Dixie Fest included a wide range of attendees. Hanevold said student government excelled at advertising to contrasting demographics with the event’s numerous parts.

“We had to think of something that would cater to a lot of people … On top of that, we had to plan [on a wider scale],” she said. “And that was a big process that took a lot more time and effort,” she said.

Appeasing all Demographics

Compounded with the concert and Uprising: The Paint Fight, Dixie Fest’s preshow featured BMX riders and parkour specialists. Jordan Kerns, a sophomore English major from Casper, Wyo., said she hadn’t attended DSUSA-held concerts before, but the event had something for everyone. 

Kerns said she raced through the bouncy house during the preshow; Ciara George, a junior interior design major from St. George, said Dixie Fest provided attendees a chance to experience their favorite aspects.

“I loved it,” George said. “[I’d] like to see more events like this — where it’s not so controlled.”

Learning for Future Dixie Fests

Issues at Dixie Fest like the power shortage surprised attendees, Hanevold said, but overall, Dixie Fest 2K14 created unity among attendees, and will help future DSU student governments prepare for large events.

“Every event that you throw, there are always pros and cons, and you learn from it,” she said. “So hopefully in future events, student government will be equipped for issues like power outages.”

Cordell Pearson, a sophomore psychology major from Circleville, said despite difficulties, Dixie Fest 2K14 ushered in spring break on a high note.

“[It was about] getting cold, getting some paint on me, and having some good times,” he said.