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Posted by on Mar 23, 2010 in April, College Towns, Event, Road Trips, SEC | 0 comments

Vanderbilt Rites of Spring Concert

History of Rites of Spring

During the late 1960′s and early 1970′s Vanderbilt students, faculty, and administrators went to great lengths to increase the amount of contact the school had with the Nashville community. One example of this community outreach was the student-formed “Free University” which offered instruction to Nashville residents in topics ranging from short wave radio to the arts. The “open campus” policy also resulted in many Nashville residents taking part in Vanderbilt campus events such as the implementation of the Rites of Spring Music Festival in 1971.   

As mentioned in the history above, Vanderbilt’s Rites of Spring concert, or “Rites” as VU students like to call it, is an annual concert series hosted on campus to celebrate…you guessed it…the start of spring. It is hosted on Alumni Lawn which also plays host to Vanderbilt Graduation and other large events. It is the perfect area because it is in the center of campus and surrounded by picturesque trees. In the past, Rites has hosted big name bands creating an excuse for students to have a 3-day party instead of studying for finals.

It draws a huge crowd


College students from surrounding schools come from a several hours radius to attend the weekend of fun at Vandy. Many of the outsiders are kids who grew up in Nashville and have been going to the concert for years now. For others, they are just in search of the biggest party in the South East and this definitely makes their list.

concert crowd by goincase

Past lineups have included: Spoon, Lil Jon, Feist, Old Crow Medicine Show, Colbie Caillet, The Avett Brothers, Drake, Phoenix, and Lady Antebellum. They played to a packed lawn and endured great weather and even some terrible rain.

Last year the tickets went on sale during the first week of March and the prices skew in favor of the Vandy students. It only costs them $30 for the weekend, but it costs a guest anywhere from $40 for a day to $55 for the weekend. Tickets will be available through Ticketmaster or you can by them on-campus at the Sarratt Box Office which is located close to the Lawn.

Here are two videos to show what the atmosphere is like:

Naughty by nature beatbox

2008 Recap

Unlike some of its SEC conference peers Vandy doesn’t have a dry campus rule. Students are allowed to bring in coolers of beer which makes this event about 100 times more fun than comparable concerts at other schools. With as much beer as you can drink, being surrounded by beautiful co-eds, and listening to a live show in Music City it is no wonder that Rites is the perfect way to kick off the spring.

The Official Website

The Latest update regarding the lineup:

WHAT:  Rites of Spring Music Festival at Vanderbilt University

WHEN:  Friday, April 15 and Saturday, April 16, 2011

WHERE:  Alumni Lawn – Vanderbilt University Campus

TIME:  3:00 pm Friday; 3:00 pm Saturday – Gates  Open
A Vanderbilt University tradition for more than 30 years, the annual outdoor festival will take place on Friday, April 15th and Saturday, April 16th.  The talent for this year’s festival includes: Public Enemy, The National, Matt and Kim, Kid Cudi, and Sara Bareilles!



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