California State University, Monterey Bay’s (CSUMB) annual Winterlands concert, which is centered around electronic dance music (EDM), was held on Jan. 25. The event was sponsored by the Associated Students union and ran from 8:30 p.m. to midnight in the Black Box Cabaret (BBC).
Four local DJs performed, all with diverse backgrounds and sets. J-Marks, who caught the audience’s attention with crowd pleasers such as Destiny Child’s “Say My Name,” is an international student from London. Ricardo Alire, who last performed at CSUMB’s Battle of the Bands, returned to the stage last Friday.
“I feel like we just got a good group of people DJ-ing,” said fourth-year student Nick Gonzales. Gonzales performed the last set of the night under the name Stonefish, and has now played Winterlands three times. “I saw people just dancing and smiling, having a good time, so that’s a success in my book,” Gonzales said.
This year’s theme, “The Invasion Begins,” manifested in a plethora of space-themed decorations. Among the glow sticks and blacklights were alien and astronaut balloons, and the first 50 students in attendance received a free alien figurine. A glow-in-the-dark temporary tattoo station allowed attendees to adorn themselves with planets and satellites.
“The scenery was really interesting,” said first-year student Luis Contreras. “It was exciting, I liked how it looked.” Contreras found that going to Winterlands and events of this nature “takes stress off [himself] from focusing in class.”
During Alire’s set at about 10:20 p.m., the fire alarm was triggered and students were vacated from the BBC for 20 minutes. It is still unclear what triggered the alarm, but after being assessed by university police and the fire department, the concert was deemed safe to continue.
“I’m happy that the event happened, sad about this, but you know, stuff happens,” Gonzales said while waiting to go back inside. Though behind schedule, Winterlands was able to finish strong with the rest of Alire’s and Gonzales’ sets.
Winterlands gave students the opportunity to connect over a shared music taste and let loose. “I like to dance as a way to release stress,” said second-year Xavier Asemota. “I grew up listening to EDM around highschool and middle school. I always listen to it when I’m going to the gym to work out or just to stay energized and awake during the day.”
Despite the hiccup, Winterlands 2020 had something for everyone to enjoy.