At SNU, various small festivals are held each year with the student councils of each college hosting festivals for students at their own college to enjoy. There is, however, one large-scale festival held each semester for all SNU members. Organized by Snufestival, this spring semester’s university festival was held at the newly reconstructed Grass Square early this May. Following the success of last year’s two festivals, there were high hopes for this spring’s “SNUFESTIVAL: Rio, the Duck.” Snufestival, the festival planner, did not disappoint the students, and the festival was a massive success. The various food and drink stalls sold appetizing treats for people to savor while the mini-game booths hosted entertaining activities that people could enjoy. There were numerous photo zones on-site where spectators could take a snapshot with the cute duck character Rio, one of the mascots of Snufestival and the theme of this spring’s festival. All stage performances hosted throughout the three days of the festival were met with an unprecedented audience and ITZY’s performance on the last day was the hot topic among students throughout the rest of the week. “SNUFESTIVAL: Rio, the Duck” was held without a hitch and became a valuable memory to the SNU community. However, in the eyes of Snufestival members, the process of planning and running the festival was not altogether smooth and each element of the festival from its name to its individual activities took immense time, discussion, and effort to create.
The most difficult, yet arguably most important element during the planning process of the festival is deciding its name and theme. Unlike most other universities, the festivals at SNU change their name every semester to reflect a new theme that the festival will undertake. Rio the duck was chosen as this semester’s festival theme with aims to create a solid identity for the festival. With this semester’s festival being held at a new location and being the first one after the complete removal of COVID-19 restrictions, Snufestival felt it was the appropriate moment to officially introduce Rio.
After the theme and name of the festival are decided upon, the Snufestival members work in teams to develop different parts of the festival. The performance team works on developing the framework and selecting the students to perform on stage at the festival. This year there were five different performances: busking, a game tournament, an acoustic campfire performance, a concert consisting of bands, dances, and singers, and a final concert concluding with a celebrity performance. Of these five performances, the acoustic campfire performance was re-introduced after taking a three-year break. As expected, its re-introduction was met with delight among students who had missed its absence in previous years.
The events team works on creating the mini-games and organizing the food, drink, and art stalls and camping. The food, drink, and art stalls are hosted by different student organizations and departments within the university, and with a limited number of places, sign-ups this semester were extremely competitive. To elevate the level of entertainment at this semester’s festival, the event team also re-introduced the team games that were put on hold for three years. At the Rio Olympics, the name of this semester’s team games, students organize themselves into groups and register to participate in a set of competitive activities. The group with the highest score overall receives a prize and as if people were waiting for the revival of the team games, registration rates were extremely high, making the games more competitive and thrilling.
The promotion-planning team is in charge of promoting the festival and ensuring people enjoy all the elements of it when they come. They also work on bringing in sponsorships from companies to ensure the festival is sufficiently funded and contains exciting company booths that increase the diversity of the activities at the festival. This semester, the festival hosted exciting booths from a diverse range of companies such as metaverse company Bondee to Nonghyup Bank.
The final team in Snufestival is the design team. The design team designs all the artwork needed in promoting and running the festival ranging from the festival’s official poster to SNS posts. The highlight of the design team is the festival-themed products that they design and sell during the festival. These goods always sell out fast for their cute designs and this semester was no different.
Although each of the four teams of Snufestival worked on different aspects of the festival, their collaboration and efforts are what made this semester’s festival run smoothly without problems. Faced with hosting the festival at a new location, there were many unexpected challenges during the planning process that Snufestival encountered. The layout of the booths had to be created from scratch and there were problems with the internet and electricity that had to be overcome. These obstacles, however, were eventually all overcome. “Not every step of organizing the festival is fun and, being honest, there were times when I wanted to give up,” said Yeowon Park of this semester’s Snufestival. She further commented, however, that these negative thoughts were all eliminated when she saw people actively participate in the festival’s activities with smiles on their faces. “Only good memories remain.”
New members for Snufestival are recruited at the end of each semester. If you are looking for a fulfilling activity to do over the summer holiday, preparing for the fall semester’s festival with Snufestival might be just the right activity for you.
Written by Yeryoung Lee, SNU English Editor, firstname.lastname@example.org
Reviewed by Professor Travis Smith, Department of Asian Languages and Civilizations, email@example.com