Rebel HD2 “excited” for return of RebFest Music & Arts Festival

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Local DJ in the Student Union courtyard performing for students. Photo by Jimmy Romo

UNLV’s student run radio station, 91.5 The Rebel HD2’s annual RebFest Music & Arts Festival is making its return on Thursday, March 31, after a two-year hiatus.

REB Fest is a free one-day festival that will take place at the Student Union Courtyard and features a range of local and national artists that start to take the stage from 3 to 9 p.m. 

Featured artists include Guapdad4000, Kenndogg, Ambjaay, and other national and local artists and DJs. 

With the festival returning after two years, those at The Rebel HD2 see the return of the event as a way to help bring the campus back together, as the campus returns to its pre-COVID ways.

As the President of The Rebel HD2, Ray Fletcher, was working on putting together the event, he heard many students are eager to partake in big events on campus. Many students are still adjusting to coming back to campus after dealing with a nearly full virtual college experience the last two years, and Fletcher sees RebFest as an event.

For many students that are a part of The Rebel HD2 their college experience started out virtually. Getting the chance to participate in a normal college environment, they also gain the experience of putting on a big event. 

“For a lot of the students, it’s their first time being on campus, being able to do anything, they’ve been virtual for two years,” Fletcher said. “We’ve been able to get them on air, they’re doing their on air promotion and they’re out around campus talking to all the students.” 

The Rebel HD2 partnered with It’s Fire Entertainment to help book the talent coming to RebFest. One of Fletcher’s goals was to find artists from underrepresented communities and music genres to give them the opportunity to perform in a festival-like atmosphere. 

“It’s allowing them a place to express their creativity that they haven’t had in two years,” Fletcher said. “There’s been a lot of virtual stuff, everything moving online, but it’s not the same as being on stage and feeling that energy in the crowd.”

There have been some challenges in bringing back RebFest, like allocating a space and finances being at the top of the list. The original plan was to have the festival at the Intramural Fields, but due to work being done to the fields the location has moved. An agreement was made with the Student Union to use the space at the courtyard. 

Fletcher acknowledged that the budget can get tight with putting together the event. He was tasked with the responsibility of managing the finances and finding sponsors, which was a challenge. 

“To them, it’s a brand new event,” Fletcher said. “It’s something that’s never happened before even though this was an annual thing…and not happening for so long, people were hesitant to want to support something like this because they don’t know what type of turnout we’re going to get.”

RebFest is taking place during Minority-Serving Institution (MSI) Week. The MSI Student Council has helped with funding and finding sponsorship of the event. 

With this being the first RebFest in two years, Fletcher and The Rebel HD2 do not have specific metrics to determine how successful the event will be. Instead, they want to see the UNLV community come out and be together at the event. 

“The main goal is just to throw a successful event and to have a turnout and have an event that I can be proud of,” Fletcher said. “I don’t think that’s something you can really necessarily measure in numbers. It’s just more of a big community event…we should bring everybody together and make UNLV what it should be, like a big community.” RebFest is a free ticketed event. Tickets, more information and a full list of the festival’s performers can be found at www.Rebfest.com.

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