Big Boi entertains at Forty Acres Fest

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Not everyone at Forty Acres Fest was “So Fresh and So Clean.”

About 3,000 people crowded into the area below The Tower on Saturday for the 19th annual festival, which featured OutKast rapper Big Boi. UT political science and economics senior Kevin Mokoli, known as DJ Bananaz, warmed up the crowd along with acts from the Houston entertainment company Southern Luxury Entertainment.

Public relations senior Sonal Modi, publicity co-chair for the festival’s committee, said the concert would help bring people outside UT to campus.

“It’s just a unity event, to bring all the students together and the Austin community in general,” she said.

Nearly 130 student organizations set up booths with food and activities throughout the day. About 5,000 people took part in games, including rock climbing, a mechanical bull and a 130-foot obstacle course that took over the South Mall. Modi said the festival helps student organizations recruit members for next year.

“The festival is pivotal because it’s created by the students, for the students,” she said. “There’s no middleman.”

Some organizations, such as the Texas Iron Spikes, used the festival to raise money for charities. The group raised $276 for Special Olympics Texas and helped the group continue its positive impact on people with disabilities, said organization service officer Adiel Escobedo.

“Whenever we volunteered, we saw the joy in each one of those athlete’s faces,” he said. “They may be impaired in a way, but for that moment they’re just like every single other person.”

The Coptic Students of Texas booth featured a pin-the-nose-on-the-sphinx game, homemade baklava and photo opportunities with members dressed in ancient Egyptian costumes. The organization raised $97 in donations for Coptic Orphans, a charity that provides clothes and education to fatherless children and orphans in Egypt, said the group’s president Erene Attia.

“We wanted to show our presence as the Coptic Students of Texas at UT,” Attia said. “We’re proud of our heritage and our mother country.”

Finance junior Karen Grimaldo said she wanted to see Big Boi.

“It’s a really different genre that I’m not really into but I would love to experience,” she said. “And it’s free, so why not come out?”


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