Cockstock 2016 exceeds expectations as Homecoming's newest event
Cockstock was Homecoming 2016’s newest addition, initially proposed by Student Body President Michael Parks, when he ran for office last year. Part of “Falling for Carolina,” the concert was held on the Strom Thurmond Field Nov. 4 at 7 p.m. and featured Cockapella, The Carolina Girls and hip-hop duo Rae Sremmund.
With over 8,200 students in attendance, some waited almost two hours to be let into the gates. Expecting only 5,000 students, the turnout of the newest homecoming event surpassed the student organizations’ expectations.
People began lining up at the gates around 5 p.m., but other students were upset when they waited in line until 8:30. Some students were even turned away, as the event’s security was only staffed for 7,000.
Cooper Boni, a fourth-year mass communications major, had been waiting in line just under half an hour and said, “This line is absolutely terrible, but it’ll be worth it.”
Another student, Miranda Fitzgerald, a third-year hospitality student was upset about the lines. Having waited more than an hour, Fitzgerald was a die-hard fan just waiting to get inside to see her “Rae Rae."
Fitzgerald offered a bit of constructive criticism. “I feel like there should be some crowd control, as well as line control,” she said.
The main feature, Rae Sremmund, also didn’t come on stage until just before 9 p.m., almost three hours after the gates opened to students. The duo sang many of their popular songs from their newest album, including “No Flex Zone," “No Type," “My X" and “Black Beatles."
Parks delivered on his campaign promise, working with Carolina Productions and the UofSC Homecoming committee to make the event happen. The group signed Rae Sremmund in the beginning of the summer before the new album dropped which worked out better than Parks expected.
“They’re young, they’re energetic, they’ve got a hot new album,” Parks said.
Hip-hop duo Rae Sremmund dropped their second album, “SremmLife 2” in August of this year, debuting at number seven on the Billboard 200, selling more than 30,000 copies. The planning for the event started in May, and once they decided to make it a part of Homecoming week, the basis for the event shifted to focus on bringing together the Carolina community.
Although the treasurer of Carolina Productions, Stinson Rogers, would not comment on the price tag stuck to the event, it is estimated upwards of $90,000 went into the making of Cockstock.
Rogers did, however, share the hope that everyone wants Cockstock to continue to happen in the future. The idea was originally from Mississippi State’s “Bulldog Bash," adding a Gamecock twist to a large concert and calling it “Cockstock”.
Stephen Simmons, president of Carolina Productions, shared his hopes before the event.
“I really hope that we’ll see one of our most diverse audiences for sure. I think that there’s an importance in having diversity in performer, but also in diversity of who comes,” Simmons said.
With about a quarter of the entire student body at the concert, the hopes for Cockstock 2016 were exceeded, as students of all ages and majors came to the event.
“To me, in life I think there’s two things that always bring human beings together — food and music," Parks said. "So that was a big point of everything that’s going on tonight. I see the fact that USC is such a huge, diverse student body, that, other than football games, there’s not really one event that brings everybody together to one place to do one thing at the same time."
Jonston Corbin, a first-year athletic training student, heard about Rae Sremmund’s popularity and decided to come out, even though she said “I personally listen more to other genres, so maybe something else, but this is cool too”
A majority of the crowd spent the night snapchatting and taking selfies of the event, those closes to the front were leaned up against the fence, trying to get as close to the main act as possible. Although many were excited about Rae Sremmund, community was a large portion of why people attended Cockstock.
Madalyn Guenther, a freshman Biology Major told me that she thought Cockstock was the greatest part of homecoming week, her reason being “Hanging out with all my friends, dancing, and having a good time. I love to dance.”
Nick Trammell, a first year International Business Major also attended the event because of the number of his friends in attendance, speaking on the community aspect of the event, saying “Everybody’s here, the whole community is here.”
The duo was received with loud cheers and an energetic crowd, entertaining the crowd with lights, high-energy songs, a few pineapples and ending their performance with fireworks.