It was a surprisingly clean opening day that offered closer performances at The Venue.
Rapper Seysup opened 14Fest with a bold and so far accurate prediction of, “this weekend gon be crazy,” as day one of Number Fest featured many artists on two stages with very little mud.
Part one of Friday at the Main Stage featured performances by Seysup, Ghost Gardens, Lil Uzi Vert, NGHTMRE and Big Gigantic.
When Seysup began the day’s first set just after 6 p.m., there was just over 20 people at the stage. By the time Big Gigantic took the Main stage at 10 p.m., the crowd had grown into the hundreds.
Before Lil Uzi Vert, Post Malone’s substitute, came on stage, the crowd was already in a frenzy to see him. The phrase, “Y’all ready for Lil Uzi Vert?” was met with a roar twice the size of the now 50-person crowd.
Uzi matched the crowd’s energy as he jumped on stage in all red — Polo jumpsuit, dreads, shades and even a handbag. At one point, he thought the crowd was a little too hot and decided to douse the audience in bottles of water.
“I wasn’t planning on coming to Number Fest at all until Lil Uzi Vert was added,” Brecon Llewellyn, a freshman studying journalism, said. “Then I bought my ticket immediately. That’s the reason I’m here.”
When the sun set and NGHTMRE came on at 8:30 p.m., the crowd had grown to a couple hundred people. The dark allowed the California DJ to use light and video displays to its full potential and pushed the visual aspect to a new level.
In addition to the diverse music, festgoers were also getting used to changes such as the no BYOB policy, public transportation and the addition of camping.
Cas Goins, a DJ from Zanesville, said the price of beer was unreasonable with college kids' budgets.
“Athens kids can go to a bar and pay $1 for a Pabst Blue Ribbon, so $6 for a beer is overpriced,” Goins said. “Why charge the money when you can get more people to come, which increases the vibe and event?”
The two-day schedule benefited many of the businesses that attend Number Fest. Upon entering The Venue, lines of over 20 tents selling food, alcohol and merchandise paved the path to the Main Stage.
“I went to 9Fest and it was way different,” Caitlyn Withers, a senior studying visual communication, said. “The Main stage was there and that was it — none of these tents.”
The peak of the night was a set by the electronic duo Big Gigantic, who instantly made its presence known by adding 36 multicolored lights to the stage. Gigantic created a sensory environment by doubling the volume and putting laser cats on the big screen.
“Number Fest,” Dominic Lalli, saxophone player for Gigantic said. “I need you to show me how to get funky.” The crowd obeyed, inciting a wave of jumping to the beat.
The Main Stage part of day one ended with snowing confetti while Lalli played saxophone in a new single, “The Little Things.”
Michael Madden, who studies communication at Walsh University, said Friday’s use of EDM-style music has ways of bonding people together.
“EDM is to my generation what rock ’n’ roll was in the ’60s. It has a way of making people really friendly,” Madden said. “You’re taking kids who come from different backgrounds who come together just to bang their heads around.”
Day two on Saturday will bring in the biggest acts for Number Fest such as Fetty Wap, Lil Dicky, Slander and The Chainsmokers.