Despite ongoing rain showers, hundreds of students attended the Welcome Back Kickoff Concert, which was held outside for the first time this year.
The Class of 2015 and the Student Alumni Association teamed up to host the event; the Class of 2015 planned the concert, while the SAA planned the Spirit Rally, which featured the Low Techs and the Dance Company at Virginia Tech, among others.
The concert’s headliner, Parachute, is a pop group from the University of Virginia that’s steadily grown in popularity. They just released their third album, Overnight, on August 13.
According to Maddie Potter, marketing director of the SAA, the event was held outside in part to promote the completion of the newly renovated College Avenue Promenade.
“They wanted to promote it and not just bring in the students, but also the community,” Potter said.
Katie Agnos, Class of 2015 Leadership Team marketing co-chair, was on the team that helped plan the event; her responsibilities included everything from social media, to preparing tents and giving away free gifts.
Despite preparing a rain location at Squires Colonial Ballroom, the Class of 2015 decided the morning of the concert to keep the event outside. According to Agnos, the only reason they would have had it inside was for thunder, not just rain.
“The event was definitely better than expected,” Agnos said. “Even with the rain people still came around and stayed. I think that has a lot to do with Parachute, because people like them and want to hear them.”
Two close friends, Brandee Bryant and Alexis Vaughn, attended the concert together and stayed despite the rain.
The two freshmen met last year at Gateway, a two-day Tech event that helps students transition into their first year of college.
“We just came because it seemed like something fun to do,” Bryant said.
They’ve never heard of Parachute before and their favorite music genres are hip-hop and R&B, but they were excited to hear from the band.
While they enjoyed their time and decided to stay, they had some complaints about the venue.
“It was tough to see,” Vaughn said. “And if it’s going to rain, I would say to put it inside. Other than that, (the venue) was fine.”