The Athletics and Events Center fills with shouts of “Sleepy! Sleepy! Sleepy!” as DJ TRUTH and DJ TGIF leave the stage. The lights change from a bright, beaming white to dull purple as the next DJ to hit the stage proclaims “Sleepy Hallow is in the building!” accompanied by booming speakers. The crowd bounces around in excitement as Sleepy Hallow hits the stage.
This is the scene at the Sleepy Hallow show hosted by the Bureau of Concerts (BOC) on Nov. 12. The Bureau of Concerts is a student organization dedicated to providing the Ithaca College community with high quality live entertainment and teaching board members how to be expert live event planners. The event saw over 400 people in attendance.
The concert was opened with a mashup of hip-hop choreography by the college’s Pulse Hip-Hop dance team, as well as a DJ set by junior Dwayne Lewis, also known by his performance name DJ TRUTH.
The BOC’s most recent events include a concert with rapper Smino via Zoom in Oct. 2020, as well as a meet and greet with actor and singer Jesse McCartney in March 2021. Since then, the club has been working towards its concert with Brooklyn rapper Sleepy Hallow.
Sleepy Hallow is most notable for “Deep End Freestyle,” a song that blew up in 2020 after frequent usage on TikTok. “Deep End Freestyle” was the last song Sleepy performed following roughly 45 minutes of his biggest hits, with frequent shoutouts to his close companion Sheff G, who is quoted by Google as “One of the vanguards of the Brooklyn Drill movement.”
Drill is a specifically popular genre with NYC youth and an important part of the current hip-hop culture in the city, making Sleepy Hallow an appropriate choice for appealing to Ithaca College’s student body.
Senior Lindsey Pressman, president of the BOC, joined the BOC in the spring semester of her sophomore year when the COVID-19 pandemic hit and has been on the board ever since.
Pressman said that overcoming COVID-19 regulations was the earliest challenge in getting Sleepy Hallow to come to campus.
“With COVID regulations and the BOC opening up for live events again, there were a lot of things that had to be put in place before we could even get the offer going with Sleepy,” Pressman said. “Once we got that offer approved, it was all pretty easygoing.”
Pressman said she was impressed with how willing Sleepy and his team were to do the performance, and how swiftly they collaborated with the club.
“We just sent the request to his team, and a few days later they gave it back to us,” Pressman said. “We were able to market after that and they were super easy to work with.”
Despite working on one big show every one semester, the BOC club members stay busy all year. Senior Malaika Dacelus, vice president of the BOC, has been working consistently hard with the club for all of her years at Ithaca College.
“I’ve been involved with the BOC since my freshman year,” Dacelus said. “I became a member of the e-board my sophomore year and worked as Assistant Marketing Executive, helping send out tons of emails full of information regarding our upcoming shows.”
Dacelus said BOC club members meet every Thursday to discuss possible concerts and weigh their options regarding what performers are in the club’s budget.
“We are always brainstorming because we never know if any artists will be out of our realm of possibility,” Dacelus said. “We like to be prepared with a list of artists just in case one doesn’t work out.”
The BOC chooses artists from a long list of budget-fitting options and ranks them on a scale from one through five, with one being a performer that surely would make for a great event in terms of popularity and influence.
The BOC needed a few extra hands in order to put on the show. Sophomore Summar Lowe volunteered for the BOC, working backstage to make sure the show was running smoothly.
“I saw on Instagram that the BOC needed volunteers, so we reached out to the people in charge and signed up online,” Lowe said. “All of the volunteers had a Zoom call where we discussed our individual roles.”
“He’s a popular artist and rapper at this moment,” Lowe said before the concert. “I feel like he’ll really bring us together with his music so we can really vibe out while also being COVID safe.”
Sophomore Eddie Santos anticipated the event as it was one of the biggest on-campus events he has experienced during in-person instruction, which added to the energy and excitement of the night.
“This feels like my first real year on campus because of COVID, so I really feel like I’m coming together with my peers.” Santos said.