Starting the First Packapalooza

Andy Walsh reflects on the idea for a concert for students at the end of campus Welcome Week.

Interview on 2014-06-06


00:00:00.000 There was this idea about a key student event the first week of Welcome Week that we were going to do,
00:00:05.783 and I jumped on board the planning group with Justine Hollingshead as kind of the leader and we settled on the name, and it was going to be Packapalooza,
00:00:16.804 and it was going to be the ending event of the week and something that was going to have concerts, an all-day street festival, we were going to invite alums, the community, everyone back, and it was going to be the showstopper for the week of all the Welcome Week things.
00:00:33.753 I knew that was the right event to tap into because I knew that we could get tons of people out there and I knew students, if they had access to just be able to walk-. I had been a part of three Welcome Weeks at that point in time. We had concerts that were downtown, we had smaller shows; I had seen the gamut.
00:00:52.503 I had seen what had been successful and what had been disappointments in terms of student turnout, and I knew that this street festival, if we did it right and we really looked at all the parties that we were trying to get and we put in place things that were going to attract them, it was going to work out.
00:01:10.195 So I thought that was a huge success. I thought the thirty thousand people that we had come out to Packapalooza, and the streets shut down, and the pictures of the street just being absolutely packed,
00:01:20.604 you know, to this day I had never seen, other than a rave gone bad my sophomore year, I had never seen that many people on Hillsborough Street, and to see the community, alumni, celebrating why NC State for a hundred and twenty-five years has been so vital for this area, for the Raleigh-Triangle area,
00:01:39.341 and then to see as many students have such a great time at such a large event was just something that I don't think could have been a better start for our year. I don't think that we ever slowed down from there.
00:01:55.299 We started at a high and we just kept trucking, and my team gets a lot of credit for that but certainly it was a great kick starter and all those other initiatives were successful, I think, because of that.