Surrounded by a sea of students, Sydney Fisher sat on the sidewalk outside of the Liacouras Center from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Thursday, eager to get inside and see her favorite artist, Jack Harlow, perform at Owlchella.
“I was very anxious because we had to make a beeline through the metal detectors and get to the front — that was the purpose of waiting outside,” said Fisher, a senior international business and finance major.
Last night, Temple University’s Main Campus Program Board hosted the first Owlchella event since 2019 at the Liacouras Center from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. Rappers Harlow and Swae Lee headlined the concert, along with opening performances from The Homies and student DJs Prem and Will.
Sydney Noble, MCPB’s director of live entertainment, started planning Owlchella in October. She worked with Degy Entertainment, an event booking agency, who helped her confirm artists for the show.
MCPB also hosts a competition to pick the concert opener. They wound up selecting DJ Si, who spent the night transitioning between and introducing each artist, said Noble, a senior business management major.
Noble started working at MCPB her freshman year and is excited she’s ending her final year with one last Owlchella under her belt. She hopes this concert was a stress-reliever for students as the end of the semester ramps up and was excited to see everyone finally come together after months of preparation.
Olivia Schroeder, MCBP’s director of marketing and outreach, has been designing the visuals for Owlchella since January. She worked closely with Noble to create fresh and innovative designs while still maintaining the brand’s standard.
“It’s so gratifying to see everything coming together, showing up at the Liacouras Center and all of the staff here,” said Schroeder, a junior graphic and interactive design major. “Walking in and seeing that stage was like, ‘Okay, this is real, this is happening today.’”
The night started off with sets from DJ’s Prem and Will from 6 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. as students gathered on the floor and filled their seats.
Fisher and her friends found themselves in the middle of the general admission section, smushed against hundreds of student attendees dancing and singing to each set as DJ Si transitioned with Pop Smoke songs between each performer.
Although she has been at the university for the last four years, Fisher has never been to Owlchella. She was excited to attend this year and is happy the university is hosting larger events like this again before she graduates.
“Since it’s my last year, I feel like I just wanted to actually be within the community and experience some of the events that there are at Temple and all the fun things before I leave because I feel like, with COVID, I missed a lot of that,” Fisher said.
Once all the attendees made it inside, The Homies opened with songs like “Time In.” Lee followed The Homies, performing songs by Rae Sremmurd, like “Swang” and “No Type.”
Olivia Krupa, a fifth-year graduate student studying education, and her friends bought tickets for the show as soon as they went on sale in March.
She was nervous to be in such a large crowd after seeing what happened at Travis Scott’s Astroworld festival last year, where a crowd crush incident during Scott’s performance left 10 dead and hundreds injured on Nov. 5, Billboard reported. Despite that, Krupa was excited to be with her friends and to hear Harlow perform his hit song, “What’s Poppin.”
Harlow came on stage around 9:20 p.m., interacting with the crowd and performing songs like “Route 66” and “First Class.”
Vicki Rizzo, a sophomore risk management and insurance major, attended the concert with her boyfriend and his roommate. She learned about the event through MCPB’s Instagram posts and bought tickets as soon as she had the chance.
Rizzo loves Harlow and spent the entire night jumping up and down in excitement, singing and dancing. She has never been to a major on-campus event like Owlchella and was excited to finally attend a campus concert after missing out on events during her first three semesters at Temple.
“It was the best night ever,” Rizzo said.