Dixie Fest offers hip-hop, dance performances

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Kid Ink lit up the old airport Friday night for Dixie Fest. 

Audience members filled the area in front of the stage at the old airport while the sun went down, waiting for the festivities to begin. Brian “Kid Ink” Collins performed an hour-long set beginning around 9 p.m.

Rap and hip-hop music blared from the speakers while people filtered into the event. Sarah Ramaker, vice president of student life and a senior dance major from Midland, Michigan, kicked off the event by introducing the opening act, Kalamity and Kaos, local hip-hop dance crews. The evening closed with a disk jockey playing dance music until midnight. 

Kid Ink pumped up members of the crowd by encouraging them to jump and dance along to the music. The audience was so energetic and eager to get closer to the stage during Kid Ink’s performance, event staff had to rush to secure the barrier separating the audience from the stage. 

Arrow Corpus, a freshman business major from Boardman, Oregon, said he liked the music genre choice for the show. The rap music made it feel more like a party to him, he said.

“I didn’t think Kid Ink was the best live,” Corpus said. “He made up for it because he was really good at entertaining the crowd.” 

Felicia Slaymaker, a sophomore business major from Salt Lake City, said the theme of hip-hop and popular dance music for all the performers was a good choice on the event organizer’s part. 

“It was fun to have [music] that was focused more on college students,” Slaymaker said.

Slaymaker said she liked this year’s Dixie Fest venue better than last year’s on-campus venue. She said she appreciated the extra room for parking and doing it at the airport contributed to the overall success of the event.

“The amount of open space for the concert combined with the cool view over St. George made it a great spot for a concert,” Corpus said. 

Organizers of the event said they were fortunate to get a venue like this for Dixie Fest. 

“It was worth the work we put into getting that venue,” Ramaker said. 

St. George resident Finess White said she enjoyed the music, although she said the wait between numbers should have been shorter. The wait between the opening act and Kid Ink’s performance was approximately half an hour. 

“I know it’s halfway Kid Ink’s fault,” she said. “The dancers got us all pumped up for Kid Ink, and they were just like, ‘OK, now you can wait.’”

Ramaker said she was happy with the turnout, although she said she wished more people could have experienced Dixie Fest.

“I was surprised at the turnout at Dixie Fest,” Corpus said. “I was worried there wouldn’t be a ton of people, but I’m glad so many people showed up.”

Sky Crystal, a senior marketing major from Kimberly, Idaho, introduced an Even Stevens’ sandwich shop spokesperson after Kalamity and Kaos performed. Even Stevens was one of the sponsors of Dixie Fest.

Ramaker said there was a moment when she was walking back into the event from the parking lot, and she was looking at the screen, listening to the music and was happy there were so many people having a good time.

Ramaker said she wanted to give a shoutout to all the people who helped plan and execute Dixie Fest. She said she couldn’t have pulled it off without her team.