Sun God Festival

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Sun God Festival
Sun god festival 2023.png
DatesMay 13th, 2023
Location(s)RIMAC Field at UC San Diego
Years active1983 – Present
Founded byAS Concerts & Events, UC San Diego

The Sun God Festival is an annual campus festival at the University of California San Diego that takes place every spring quarter. The daytime festival is produced by the AS Concerts & Events office and paid for by the student body activity fee. The festival has featured a vast variety of entertaining elements since its inception, including a cross-campus fair, lounge areas, and multiple stages which have featured art performances, live comedy, student talent, DJ sets, and a mix of underground and commercially successful musical performers. All of this occurs on RIMAC Field.[1] The main stage is traditionally opened by the winner of the Battle of the Bands, a competition that UCSD student musicians perform in leading up to the festival.[2]

The festival's name references the Sun God, an on-campus statue by French artist Niki de Saint Phalle (1930–2002). The Sun God was the first contribution to the famous Stuart Collection. The first Sun God Festival coincided with the one-year anniversary of the statue's arrival in 1984.[3][4] The festival's original location was adjacent to the statue, but it has since grown and moved numerous times, from Price Center to the now-demolished Mile High Field, eventually finding a more permanent home at its current location on RIMAC field.

The festival provides an opportunity for students to enjoy themselves and relax before midterm examinations, and is regarded as an end-of-the-year experience that provides a sense of campus community and celebration. Many members of campus, including police, administrators, student planners, and University staff work throughout the year to support the event, as it presents unique challenges due to its scale and culture. In recent years, the Festival has often been used as a platform to promote safety initiatives such as bystander intervention peer workshops, alcohol and drug education, and sexual assault awareness.[5]

Due to the number of students who were being hospitalized from alcohol and drug abuse at the festival, students and administrators opted to eliminate guest tickets and increase safety measures. The changes saw a decrease in hospitalizations from 48 to eight from 2013 to 2014.[6] These measures have improved the safety of the festival, but the loss of guest tickets and the increased security measures have also been a severe detriment to the event budget.

During Spring Quarter of 2016, the Associated Students of UC San Diego ran a fee referendum to increase the student activity fee, which is the primary source of funding for the event. The new funding was meant to replace the festival's guest ticket revenue, which was lost when guests presented increased liabilities to student safety at the event. The student body overwhelmingly supported this fee increase in order to preserve the Sun God tradition, passing the referendum by a margin of nearly 40 percent.[7]

In 2018, Associated Students replaced the headlining act, blackbear, with Roy Woods when blackbear cancelled on account of a series of pancreatic attacks.[8] In 2020, the Sun God Festival was among the many public events cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, over concerns that the virus could spread quickly at large gatherings such as concerts.[9]

Past Lineups[edit]

2009 Sun God Festival - view from Main Stage
2009 Sun God Festival - Girl Talk headlining the Dance Tent


  1. ^ a b "Sun God Festival 2009". Archived from the original on February 9, 2010.
  2. ^ @UCSD: Celebrating Our Sun God
  3. ^ Pincus, Robert (October 28, 2001). "The 20th anniversary of UCSD's Stuart Collection celebrates a grand experiment in public art". San Diego Union-Tribune. Retrieved April 29, 2007.[dead link]
  4. ^ Williams, Jack (September 14, 2002). "James DeSilva; visionary collector of art for UCSD". San Diego Union-Tribune. Retrieved April 28, 2013.
  5. ^ Somers, Kyle. "Talking About Pills". UCSD Guardian. UCSD Guardian. Retrieved 22 April 2016.
  6. ^ "Sun God on Trial". UCSD Guardian. 4 November 2014.
  7. ^ "2016 AS Election Results" (PDF). Associated Students. UCSD. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2016-04-17. Retrieved 21 April 2016.
  8. ^ a b Metu, Amarachi (April 6, 2018). "BLACKBEAR TO HEADLINE 2018 SUN GOD FESTIVAL". The Triton.
  9. ^ a b "AS Concerts and Events: Sun God Festival Update". March 13, 2020. Retrieved March 16, 2020.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  10. ^ "The Guardian: Sun God 2001". Archived from the original on May 31, 2011.
  11. ^ a b c d e f g h i j UCSD Guardian, Volume 45, Issue 45
  12. ^ a b c d e f "Past SGF Posters".
  13. ^ "UCSD Wiki: Sun God 2007". Archived from the original on April 24, 2012.
  14. ^ "Sun God Festival 2008". Archived from the original on April 4, 2012.
  15. ^ "Sun God Festival 2010". Archived from the original on March 30, 2010.
  16. ^ "Sun God Festival 2011". Archived from the original on April 7, 2011.
  17. ^ "Sun God Festival 2012". Archived from the original on May 23, 2012.
  18. ^ "Sun God Festival 2013". Archived from the original on April 3, 2014.
  19. ^ "Sun God Festival 2014". Archived from the original on March 14, 2008.
  20. ^ "Sun God Festival 2015".[permanent dead link]
  21. ^ Burke, Matthew (19 April 2017). "UCSD Announces 2017 Sun God Festival Lineup". Sound Diego. NBC 7 San Diego. Retrieved 30 May 2017.
  22. ^ O, Sylvia (April 27, 2018). "Roy Woods Replaces Blackbear For Sun God". The Triton.
  23. ^ Metu, Amarachi (April 20, 2018). "Second Wave Sun God Artists Includes MadeinTYO". The Triton.
  24. ^ Parajuli, Sabira. "Vince Staples to Headline Sun God". The Triton.
  25. ^ Johnson, Erika. "'Sunny Days' Student Festival on the Horizon". UC San Diego Today.

External links[edit]