While it lacked the lederhosen, ASUCI’s 10th annual Oktoberfest, a small-scale version of a traditional German festival, was held in Aldrich Park on Oct. 25 and attracted dogs, frisbees, hackey sacks and plenty of camaraderie.
Students in attendance experienced live music from local punk bands such as Once Through, Eight-One-Eight, Jack Anthony, Joystick Company and Home Grown.
As the main act, Home Grown drew in the bulk of students, but once there, the students were also able to enjoy the complimentary hot dogs and of course, the free beer, which excited many of the students.
‘I came here for the free beer, of course,’ said Joan Morrison, a fifth-year mechanical engineering major. ‘I just wanted to get out see my friends and have a good time without spending a lot of money.’
Many students found the casual setting to be a worthwhile reason for attending the event.
‘The best part, besides the beer, is the atmosphere,’ said David Coppom, a first-year graduate student majoring in policy, planning and design. ‘It’s my first year at UCI, and the school is very unique. I would say that this festival is underutilized by the students.’
Although some students missed out on the festivities, others got to experience them for a second year in a row.
‘The food and beer from last year made me come back,’ said Jason Hill, a second-year biochemistry major. ‘It brings everybody together, and it gives everybody something fun to do. It’s something worth going to and that’s good for morale.’
Morale and friendliness were both universal expressions as Oktoberfest inspired students to branch out and meet new people.
‘I just met some new guy,’ said Jon Boyd, a fourth-year criminology major. ‘This is a good way to make friends. There should be more stuff like this.’
Adam Boothby, commissioner of festivals and historian for ASUCI, hoped that the event would bring not only the students that already know what UCI has to offer, but also the new students who may not be aware of everything that ASUCI plans.
‘We want students to understand that we do these large-scale events for them. We work hard and put a lot of time, effort and energy into them, and even if they come for only half an hour and enjoy it, that’s all the thanks we need,’ Boothby said. ‘ASUCI is for the students,by the students, so that’s what we like to preach.’
Boothby also hoped that this year’s production would be more successful than previous years.
‘We wanted to revamp Oktoberfest this year and make it into an all day festival,’ Boothby said. ‘This is our 10th year of doing Oktoberfest, and every other year it’s been on a Friday afternoon for about three hours. We wanted to start a new trend this year.’
Still, many students in attendance felt that a Friday event would have drawn more crowds, specifically from the students who usually leave home for the weekends.
‘I think it should definitely be held on a Friday,’ said Kalee Forman, a second-year biological sciences major. ‘That would’ve brought more people here, and it would’ve been more community-like.’
As the day progressed, the crowd slowly began to edge closer to the orange barrier nets in anticipation for Home Grown’s performance.
‘I originally came to Oktoberfest because Home Grown was playing,’ said Tatiana Jimenez, a second-year psychology major. ‘I think the music is the best part of it. It’s also good because it’s the beginning of the year, and all the new students can see what we have here, what we have to offer.’
The other bands playing were also happy to see Home Grown perform.
‘It’s good when bands like Home Grown can come out and play, because it brings all the students together,’ said Taylor Potts, guitarist for Once Through and a fourth-year biological sciences and film major.
‘Music always brings people together, especially for people in the punk scene. It gives people something in common right away.’
Despite the fact that the hotdogs were covered in ash, Oktoberfest was a pleasant success, and good times were had by all. Second-year biological sciences major Brian Kim summed up the turnout of the event with his own theory of why Oktoberfest attracts students.
‘As long as there’s free food, drinks, and beer, people are going to come out,’ Kim said.