Valpo’s University Programming Council (UPC) has added a concert, similar to Valpo Vibes, to this year’s Welcome Week schedule. The Welcome Back Bash will take place on the West Lawn at 8 p.m. Monday, Aug. 23.

The event will be headlined by indie rock group Joywave with DOUBLECAMP as the opener. Alyssa Clarke, UPC Entertainment and Concert Chair, was given the task of selecting who would perform.

“I looked at a bunch of artists who I like and then I compared them to what we’ve had before, like AJR and Panic! at the Disco,” said Clarke. “Since getting Joywave, it's been since May, but the talk of the concert has been since January of last year. We kind of transferred over our plans for what we had for spring semester to this one.”

In addition to securing artists for the show, Clarke assists with any on-site needs as well as day-of event coordination.

“My role is picking the artist and then [working] with the agent and the contractors to make sure that when they come here, all their needs are met… I’m in charge of the day of. If anyone needs anything they come to me first and then if I don’t know the answer they go to Ryan [Bye]” Clarke said. 

Ryan Bye serves as Director of Student Involvement and New Student Programs in addition to advising UPC. He explained that previous cancellations of Valpo Vibes are what have allowed for the Welcome Back Bash to be created. 

“The Welcome Back bash this year is happening because UPC has not been able to have their traditional Valpo Vibes spring concert for the last two years now. We were able to make it work to where we're able to use some of the money that we would have spent on the Valpo Vibes spring concert last year and use it for this concert in the fall for Welcome Week,” said Bye.

While COVID-19 prevented the last two Valpo Vibes from occurring, new university guidelines allow the Welcome Back Bash to take place.

“​​We will follow all the university policies and procedures so at the moment there's no capacity restrictions for outdoor events, or any events, so there'll be no capacity. It's intended for students, faculty and staff in the community here on campus… We're [also] following the university mask requirement,” Bye said.

Both Bye and Clark are optimistic that the Welcome Back Bash will help lift campus spirits and bring about a sense of normalcy to this semester.

“It's been a long 18 months with restricted events and all of that. Really this is a way that shows that we are moving forward and we're excited about all the opportunities this year brings. Additionally [the bash] will not replace the Valpo Vibes in the spring, that's still budgeted to happen,” Bye said. 

UPC is hosting several other Welcome Week events, including Rock the ARC and Valpo After Dark. Clarke encourages new students to use these gatherings as opportunities to get acclimated and meet people.

“I think it's a great way for freshmen who are just finding their group of friends to just go to a show and listen to music together,” Clarke said.

For more information, visit @ValpoUPC on Instagram or valpo.edu/myvalpo to view all scheduled Welcome Week events.

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