PPC’s Fall Fest to feature Lauv, food trucks and more


TPN File Photo

Pitt Program Council’s annual Fall Fest starts on Sunday at 1 p.m. in Schenley Plaza. Pitt undergraduate students enter free and can expect music, food and fun activities.

By Sarah Demchak, For The Pitt News

The days of online concerts are over, and Pitt students can once again bask outdoors with good music this weekend. Pitt Program Council is hosting its first in-person Fall Fest since 2019, where organizers say Pitt students can expect a fun afternoon that they have been missing out on for the past two years. 

Fall Fest starts at 1 p.m. on Schenley Drive. The event is free for Pitt undergrad students and will have four musical acts, a variety of food options and many different activities for everyone to enjoy. 

Before Lauv, the event headliner, there will be three openers. First, the Battle of the Bands winner, Dionysus, will perform, followed by George Clanton, provided by WPTS Radio. Then Elias Khouri, a local guitarist and singer, will perform right before Lauv’s appearance. 

PPC Special Events Director Keely Rehman said she, her fellow directors and her committee members have been working to plan one of Pitt’s first big, in-person events of the semester. Having helped plan Fall Fest in 2019, Rehman learned how to improve the event for this year.  She said Fall Fest will have a bigger variety of activities, like caricatures and airbrush tattoos, for students than was available in previous years, so there is something for everyone to do.

“This year, we’ll have a caricature and airbrush tattoo artist in a little section, so that’ll be cool for people to have different activities to do,” Rehman said. “Not everyone loves live music, so there are different activities for everyone to enjoy.”

Unlike 2019, Fall Fest will be held on Schenley Drive instead of on Bigelow Boulevard.  Rehman said this new location is a perfect spot to hold the event because it offers students an area to escape the crowd and it’s a central point on campus. 

“I’m excited for it to be on Schenley Drive because you have Schenley Plaza right there, so if students don’t want to stand in the crowd or anything like that, they can sit in Schenley Plaza and listen,” Rehman said. “I’m sure you’ll be able to hear it from Hillman and the Quad because it’s going to be loud.”

Along with the variety of activities and new location, Fall Fest will have a plethora of dining options from the many food trucks that will park on Schenley Drive. According to Rehman, there will be an Indian grill truck, a donut and hotdog truck, an ice cream truck, a meatball truck, a crepes truck, a taco truck, a barbecue truck and more. Rehman said all these food trucks will offer a variety of options for those with dietary restrictions. 

“We have a lot of different foods coming, which I’m also excited for,” Rehman said.  “They all have vegetarian options, which is good for anyone who eats that way.”

Lauv, a singer-songwriter known for his hit song “I Like Me Better,” is the headliner for Fall Fest. According to Rehman, he is a bigger, more famous artist than what PPC has had in the past, making the first in-person Fall Fest in two years even more exciting.

According to Rehman, Lauv’s music is different because it mixes pop with EDM and R&B, which will make his act interesting to listen to live. She said students will still come to the event from the anticipation of Fall Fest itself, even if they may not know Lauv. 

“I think students will really enjoy it. I think everyone’s excited to be back in person, so I definitely think that the numbers will come out,” Rehman said. “Even if people don’t necessarily love Lauv or know who he is, I think everyone is just excited to be able to go back to concerts.  In the past, it has been a really highly anticipated event.” 

PPC hosted Bigelow Bash, its annual spring concert, and Fall Fest, with Jason Derulo and Rico Nasty respectively, online last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. According to Rehman, students enjoyed these events, despite the remote aspect. She said this positive response should continue with this year’s in-person festival, creating even more excitement.

“Even when we did virtual concerts last year, I felt as though a lot of students came and watched, especially with Jason Derulo and Rico Nasty,” Rehman said. “So I think students have been following us for a while, and I think they’ll still come out on Sunday and have a good time.”

According to Rehman, PPC’s hard work for planning Fall Fest will pay off on Sunday when Pitt students come to enjoy each other’s company.  She said she is most excited to see everyone in person and watch them enjoy the festival’s atmosphere. 

“I’m honestly really looking forward to seeing everyone just having a good time and just being back in person,” Rehman said. “I love the atmosphere — everyone having a good time and all the students on the street.”