On Friday, Aug. 27, the Drillfield was packed with students who had gathered to watch the annual Kickoff Concert hosted by the Virginia Tech Union (VTU) and the Class of 2023. This year’s opener was Virginia Tech alum Carter Ward of Fordson Labs, followed by B.o.B, an American rapper who rose to fame with chart-topping songs such as “Airplanes, Pt. 2” and “Nothin’ On You,” according to Genius.
After over a year of limited group gatherings due to COVID-19, many students are eager to get back into the swing of social events. Izzy Perham, a sophomore majoring in mechanical engineering, said she went to the Kickoff Concert because she wanted to be a part of the community.
“I’m just excited to be back to a normal event,” Perham said. “Being trapped with masks on indoors sucks, so this normalcy, and seeing all these beautiful faces, is so good.”
The event was organized by VTU, a student organization founded in 1969, whose purpose is to “provide quality educational and social entertainment that represents the diverse culture of Virginia Tech’s students and its community,” according to its website. Its Facebook page also states that VTU is a University Chartered Student Organization and has remained “the largest student programming board on campus” since its founding.
Mia Toser, a senior majoring in public relations, is the current concerts director for VTU. Toser said she joined the organization after attending Soundfest, another live music event VTU throws, during her freshman year and hearing about the position.
“People get to work with the artist, and the sound, and production and everything, and I was super intrigued in that,” Toser said. “I just emailed the then-president and started immediately my sophomore year, and then I applied for the position after only being in the club for maybe three months. So I was really grateful for this opportunity –– it’s really one of the coolest things that I’ve been able to be involved with at Tech so far.”
Reflecting on the concert, Toser says that it was one of the largest concerts she has thrown so far, and that planning for it was a process that started back in the spring.
“I think with it being one of the first concerts post-COVID(-19), everyone was a little rowdy, and it definitely was not perfect, but overall it was a really special concert, and I’m really glad I got to be a part of it,” Toser said.