Good God, San Diego: The Sun God Festival at the UCSD
The Sun God Festival is the University of California San Diego’s annual May music fest and fair. The multiple-stage fest is held on the seventh Friday of the Spring semester, which usually occurs in mid-May. The event usually coincides with the end of midterms, and the music ranges from underground indie to major headliners like Jimmy Eat World, Drake, Iron and Wine, My Chemical Romance, Ludacris, Cake, Third Eye Blind and many more. The final act of the night is performed by UCSD’s Battle of the Bands winner. Other activities include a “Junkyard Derby” (a race with cars students make from spare junkyard parts), and a fair with various themed booths.
In 2012, the Sun God Festival celebrates it’s 30th anniversary, which promises to be a big show with major headliners (the full performer list is still in the works). The history of the festival dates back to 1983, with the arrival of a statue named the “Sun God” by artist Niki de Saint Phalle, which still remains on campus. The statue was originally at the site of the fest, but in recent years the venues have changed and the statue is now its namesake, only.
The festival saw it’s highest attendance numbers, or nearly 20,000 attendees, in 2011. The event, which is open to UCSD students and their guests, is covered by a student activity fee, but you’ll need to know a student to get in. Wristbands sell out fast, so you may need to plan ahead. If you know someone who can get you into the Sun God Festival, it’s worth the road trip, and the trip west.
By Leah Waldron