Bigelow Bash returns in person after three years, with headliner Flo Milli

Hundreds of students crowded on Bigelow Boulevard in anticipation for the headline act. Screams of excitement filled the air, as the big screen flashed with pink and “Roaring 20s” played. Flo Milli sprinted onstage and the entire audience jumped with their hands in the air.

“What’s up Pittsburgh!” Flo Milli said. “I’m ready to get lit!”

Pitt Program Council’s annual spring music and food festival, Bigelow Bash, occurred on Sunday and was the first iteration in person since 2019. The festival had rapper Flo Milli as the headliner, after performances from the Pitt dance group Controlled Chaos, multi-disciplinary artist Corrine Jasmin provided by WPTS Radio and Canadian rapper bbno$. The event also included various food trucks serving Korean and halal food, cheesesteaks, gyros, doughnuts, ice cream and lemonade.

Abena Quansah, a junior psychology major, said she attended the event because she was eager to see Flo Milli and experience her first in-person Bigelow Bash.

“I was definitely excited because of Flo Milli, I think she’s just a great up and coming Black artist and around our age, so I can always come down and support that. Also as a junior, this is my first Bigelow Bash, so of course, no matter who was coming, I would have come,” Quansah said. “I think the event is just a great de-stresser. But definitely Flo Milli, she got me out here.”

Flo Milli performed various hits, including many from her most recent album, “Ho, why is you here?” The audience danced and sang along to “Like That Bitch,” “May I,” “PBC” and “Pussycat Doll.” Controlled Chaos was also featured and danced onstage during the rapper’s performance.

The all-female hip-hop dance group performed first after winning Pitt Factor. Between performances, a DJ played popular hits and threw T-shirts to the crowd. Corrine Jasmin performed hip-hop songs, as well as spoken poetry, including “Move Through” and “Not Urs.” bbno$ offered an interactive experience with the crowd by inviting a student and security guard onstage to perform with him in songs, including “Lalala” and “edamame.”

Nick Jones, PPC’s outgoing public relations director, said he was excited for the festival to be held in person again after it being virtual in recent years.

“I’ve seen a Bigelow Bash in person my freshman year and it’s great to have it come back my senior year. It’s a great way to get the Pitt community back together all at once,” Jones said. “It’s a way to celebrate the end of the term and get to hear great music acts and even watch some great dance acts.”

Jones said being part of the council has been an engaging experience for him, and that the group is dedicated to organizing events that help students come together as a community.

“What I love about the organization is that it’s putting on events for students, by students. It’s a unique opportunity to help us grow both personally and professionally while also getting to help out the student body and bring together the Pitt community in unique and fun ways, and really get to target different audiences within the event,” Jones said. “Getting to know that the students really appreciate our efforts is a really fun and unique experience.”

Lydon Pelletier, PPC’s incoming public relations director, said she is excited to organize in-person events and hear feedback from students after past years of hosting virtual events.

“I think it’s really rewarding being able to put together programs for students and see how much they enjoy them. So it’s great getting feedback to see that they like our events,” Pelletier said. “This year, obviously being back in person, it’s been good to see faces at the events. I was the director last year over zoom, so it’s definitely a different environment, so it’s exciting getting back.”

Rachael Stowe, a senior applied developmental psychology major, attended this year’s festival because she said she remembered how much fun she had her first year at Bigelow Bash. 

“The last time I went was freshman year, it was super fun being around all your friends and all of these other people celebrating,” Stowe said. “I’ve seen a bunch of people that I haven’t seen in a really long time, so I think it’s brought a lot of people back. I feel that everyone should come to this, I think that everyone should be out here enjoying it.”

Ria Vangala, a sophomore biology and psychology major, said it was great to have an experience like this after the impact the COVID-19 pandemic had on her first year.

“I’m really excited because there’s a lot of people out, and it’s such a nice sunny day out. I’m excited to see Flo Milli and I love all the food trucks and the vibes right now,” Vangala said. “It’s nice having these events after COVID because I feel like especially last year with our freshman year experience being surrounded by COVID, it’s nice to be out and seeing all the Pitt students together, because I feel like we never had this experience.”

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