Fall Fest 2022

Restrictions, Relaxation and Reggaeton Rhythms


Leslie Lozada, Editor in Chief

NEIU brought some Puerto Rican culture to the campus!


Part of NEIU Weekend, Fall Fest, which was held on Sept. 17, is an annual concert for the NEIU community, which includes staff and alumni. This year’s Fall Fest started at 4 p.m. and ran to 10 p.m.

Photo by Roy Cases

The headliner, which was teased out throughout social media for weeks before the concert, was the queen of reggaeton herself! Ivy Queen, a Puerto Rican singer whose career spans 27 years, was the act that several people came to Fall Fest for. Several other Chicago-centric acts were there, like Young Chef Gundy, a rapper, who is also a student at NEIU, The Future Kingz, a dance troupe from the Chicago suburbs, Jargon, a Chicago-born rapper, Quinto Imperio, a band that was formed in the Back of the Yards neighborhood, and Eman, another collaborator.


The concert was held in Parking Lot J, just outside of the Nest. RSVPs were done ahead of time, with a last-minute extension for NEIU students the day before the concert. As several people left during the event, there is no exact number, but the crowd occupied less than half of the parking lot.

Photo by Roy Cases

The schedule sent via emails and social media was different from the concert, with all of the acts being pushed towards the evening. Young Chef Gundy, who was set to perform at 5:30 p.m. as the first act, instead performed at 7 p.m., with Jargon performing after him. Ivy Queen, who was the last act of the evening, performed close to 9 p.m..


Ivy Queen performed several songs from her discography, with songs ranging from “Que Lloren” (Let Them Cry), “La Vida Es Así” (Life Is Like That), and “La Roca” (The Rock). The crowd got slightly rowdy, with several people pushing the barricade of the VIP section, to get closer to the stage as Ivy threw out roses and a pair of sunglasses she had on beforehand.


The Independent reached out to several NEIU students about the concert. Some had complaints about the restrictions. These involved not being able to bring in backpacks or outside food, and not being able to leave the event and come back. There was food at Fall Fest, but it ran out before the concert started.


One person involved with setting up Fall Fest, who asked to remain anonymous, said, “…my personal opinion, I wish there was more food, and I wish there were more things to do for people [at Fall Fest]….The food obviously ran out, it was good enough to serve 200 people. But from 4 to 6 p.m., that’s when we had a lot of people, people who were still hungry, people who have come after 6 p.m., but no more food.” They later mentioned that despite the restrictions, some people came in with backpacks. There were also children present, despite the event being for people 18 and over.


Mariana Silva Lindner, an international student and the Arts and Life Editor for the Independent, and her friends, who are also international students, were surprised at these restrictions. They were attempting to leave the venue, when staff told them they would not have been able to come back outside. Another student expressed confusion over the songs that Ivy Queen sang, as they knew nothing about the Spanish language, which Ivy Queen sang and spoke in during most of the performance. There were no translations given, either through the screen provided for the performances, or from other sources.

Photo by Roy Cases

However, there were several people that liked Fall Fest. “I liked the environment as it was super controlled [and] secured. Even though I wasn’t in the VIP section, I was still so close to the stage.” Nimra Shahid, a current NEIU international student, and Vice President of the International Club, said to the Independent.


The same anonymous person involved with Fall Fest, ”So overall, of course there’s always room for improvement, but one thing I would say is that regardless of the turnout rate, regardless of the pro and cons, it’s always important for someone to provide opportunities for students to engage in, to involve themselves with the Northeastern community, for students to come out and at least try to have fun. We saw Dr. Gibson, we saw Dr. Mena, we saw a lot of different people, we saw international students, so it was really nice to connect – I connected with different people, I met a lot of new faces. I thought that was really fun.”