Discovery Green concerts set major tone for Final Four weekend

Mary-Ann Ellison
AT&T Block Party hosted the first day of the festival on Friday, April 1.

Joseph Hlavinka, Staff Writer

While the Oklahoma Sooners and the Villanova Wildcats were competing head-to-head at NRG stadium, Kendrick Lamar was performing for a packed audience at the downtown park Discovery Green. In celebration of the NCAA Final Four coming to Houston, Discovery Green hosted the March Madness Music Festival April 1-3.

  The free event featured 12 artists on the Main Stage, among which were Lucas Graham, Twenty One Pilots, and Maroon 5. Local bands such as the Wrestlers and Flow Tribe performed at the smaller “Taste of Houston” stage.

“I’ve been following Lukas Graham for a while, so I loved being able to see him just by showing up and not having to pay,” junior Mary-Ann Ellison said. “The festival was very casual and not as busy as a normal music festival. I got close to the stage more easily.”

(video of Lukas Graham by Mary-Ann Ellison)

On Saturday April 2, the concerts stopped for a viewing party of the first semifinal game between Syracuse and UNC, which ended in UNC’s victory 83-66. Afterwards, Kendrick Lamar performed his single “Untitled 07 (Levitate)” live for the first time.

Spaces quickly became overcrowded during Lamar’s concert and on the final day of the festival. Many people had to be turned away as the stage capacity reached its limit.

“When I went to see Kendrick Lamar, there were already way too many people in front of me and I wasn’t let in. I really wish I arrived earlier,” senior Madison Trice said.

(video of Kendrick Lamar by Andrew Wan)

Rather than squeezing into the crowds, some students watched a livestream video of the event.

“When I was watching, it seemed like everyone was having so much fun, and I was sad I couldn’t go. It was like a low-key Summer Fest,” junior Inaara Malick said.