Pumpkins, gourds and the sweet scent of apple cider spilled out of Old Union Hall on Oct. 24 as the Student Association hosted their first Fall Fest, followed by this year’s first Binghamton Underground Music Presents (BUMP) show featuring indie artists Peaer and Paul Cherry.
Old Union Hall was split into two sections: one with games and one with food, which attracted hundreds of students. The entrance line circled Tillman Lobby minutes before the event started.
Esther Lam, a junior majoring in psychology, said the SA prepared well for the crowd with activities and merchandise, which included free stress balls, water bottles and phone wallets. There were also T-shirts and tote bags for sale.
“I like that the Student [Association] Programming Board had enough freebies to give to students even after the event start[ed],” Lam said. “While this was not the case for the food as the majority of the warm food had unfortunately run out within the first hour and a half, it was nice that there were still festivities we could participate in after the food frenzy had died down.”
One of the main attractions at Fall Fest was the mac and cheese station, where students could decorate their bowls with a variety of toppings such as bacon, ham and chives, and a caramel apple station where attendees could dip apples into a pot of melted caramel and decorate them with nuts, sprinkles or chocolate chips.
Lam said the event was a welcome surprise to students who missed Frost Fest, an annual event the SA held for years at the end of November. Frost Fest was not held last year.
“We didn’t have Frost Fest last year and I wasn’t able to attend two years ago,” Lam said. “It offered events similar to that of today’s event, so this event was a nice replacement.”
Following the festival was this year’s first BUMP show. Brooklyn-based indie-rock band Peaer started off the show to a small crowd of about 20 students. While the crowd seemed small in the giant space of Old Union Hall, those who attended the show danced around in the free space and talked to the band during their set, turning it into an intimate performance. Hannah Burke, a senior majoring in English and environmental studies, attended the show because she was familiar with the artists.
“I followed both artists in the indie music scene, so I was excited to come and see them,” Burke said. “Their performance is well done and Peaer is a really nice band. They’re really nice about the crowd, which could have been bigger.”
Peter Katz, the lead singer of Peaer, had fun with students as more trickled into the show as it went on. He invited them to join, saying, “Come inside! I get it, you guys have midterms and stuff. That’s cool.”
Chicago-based artist Paul Cherry similarly had fun with the crowd, especially when Olivia Lin, a junior majoring in business administration, jumped onto the stage barefoot during Cherry’s first song and started dancing next to him. SA members tried to get her off the stage, but Cherry urged her to stay with a cheering crowd to back her up. With that, Lin continued to dance for a few songs. Cherry even gave her the mic at points, letting her sing along. As the show went on, at least two other students also joined Cherry, with one of them playing a whistle that sounded like a train rolling into a station.
“Don’t go anywhere,” Cherry said. “I would like all interpretive dances you have over the next 30 minutes. This is totally unplanned but completely amazing. We’re gonna keep going along with it because it’s really fun.”