Kent State Gears Up for 21st Annual FlashFest Celebration

Annual End-of-the-Year Bash Takes Place Thursday

Kent State University’s 21st annual FlashFest will deliver a mix of music genres with hip-hop duo Rae Sremmurd, R&B artist Jeremih and disc jockey duo the Chainsmokers.

This year, the event will take place Thursday, April 23. Music begins at 5 p.m. on the Student Green, weather permitting, with the Memorial Athletic and Convocation (MAC) Center as an alternate location.

Kevin Otubu, director of programming for the Undergraduate Student Government at Kent State, says the variety of genres was chosen because they appealed to students in the past.

“We know students enjoy the hip-hop and electronic dance music scene, so my goal was to try and recreate our FlashFest 2013, but make it better,” Otubu said.

Rae Sremmurd, composed of brothers Swae Lee and Slim Jimmy, is best known for its single “No Type.” Jeremih is a recording artist and producer well-known for his single “Don’t Tell ‘Em.” Lastly, the Chainsmokers consist of members Andrew Taggart and Alex Pall, who are best known for their single “Selfie.”

Before the three main acts take the stage, Kent State alumna Marina Strah and rapper Kyle will perform at 5 p.m. Strah is the winner of a YouTube contest Ryan Seacrest organized to find the best cover of Taylor Swift’s hit “Shake It Off.” Kyle, also known as Super Duper Kyle, is an up-and-coming rapper from California.

FlashFest also serves as the platform to announce this year’s grand prize winners for FLASHperks, an incentive program that offers students prizes for attending university events. This year’s prizes include free tuition for one year, Domino’s pizza for a year, a queen-size mattress set and a $500 bookstore gift card.

Otubu says he expect this year’s FlashFest to stand out because of the range of acts chosen.

“If the weather permits and we are able to have it outside, this has the opportunity to be the best FlashFest ever,” Otubu said. “All the acts can excite the crowd and will interact with the crowd during the show, so that will make it fun.”

This year’s event also is part of the RECESS Tour, a music and ideas festival.

“RECESS is a traveling music and ideas festival for college campuses backed by Mark Cuban,” said Donna Carlton, special coordinator of student affairs in Kent State’s Division of Enrollment Management and Student Affairs. “We bring incredible startups, inspiring speakers, a student business competition and a music concert to inspire the next generation of world-changing entrepreneurs.”

The speaker series and student business competition will be held on April 22 at 5:30 p.m. in the Kent Student Center, Room 310. Jake Schneider of Madison House and Tom Montgomery, co-founder of Chubbies Shorts, will open the event by sharing their journeys. Winners of the competition earn an all-expenses paid trip to Los Angeles to pitch their idea to investors.

For more information about the 2015 FlashFest, the performers and related events, visit  

POSTED: Monday, April 20, 2015 - 12:00am
UPDATED: Monday, April 27, 2015 - 4:38pm
Endya Watson