Pixel Tracker

Sunday, January 20 , 2019, 3:11 am | Fair 48º


Gauchos-Only ‘The Warmup’ Aims to Build Community, Leave Party Scene Behind

Chrystal Anderson and Alex Levine of UCSB’s AS Program Board. (Courtesy photo)

It’s all about community. That’s a large part of what attracts people to study at UC Santa Barbara, a friendly campus with a close-knit student population and familial feel.

It’s also a big reason why the university’s Events Center was packed Saturday with some 3,500 happy, screaming students, dancing their feet off to the sounds of indie rockers Grouplove during the 2nd annual spring kickoff event, The Warmup.

That so many opted for the Gauchos-only concert rather than the unsanctioned Deltopia street party known to attract outsiders is the latest evidence of success for a campus-wide, collaborative effort being driven by students themselves: to shift their culture away from so-called “party weekends” such as Deltopia and Halloween and to prioritize, embrace and respect their community above all.

“The whole idea behind these events is that it’s up to us,” said fourth-year UCSB student Chrystal Anderson, commissioner of the Associated Students Program Board, the force behind The Warmup and its fall-held counterpart, Delirium.

“It’s our duty to create the change in the culture that we want to see as students,” added Anderson, a communications major who will graduate in June. “And it’s genuine when it comes from students who step up and say, ‘We want to change this.’ The party culture that is, or was, I’d like to say, is something that we took ownership of after things started happening that we didn’t feel were really reflective of how we like to have fun. It was up to us to change that, and the opportunity to host these concerts was really big for us. There are different ways to have fun. We gave students an alternative and I think that’s what they were looking for.”

The idea for both The Warmup and Delirium sprung, in some ways, from the tumult that erupted during Deltopia in April 2014, and from the tragic violence in Isla Vista that followed that May.

From grief and frustration, a renewed sense of community and a resolve to safeguard and grow that spirit was borne. Then and now, it’s been UCSB students leading the charge.

Besides The Warmup’s Saturday night concert, which is building a reputation for featuring a big-name act at a tiny ticket price ($5), students also were central to UCSB’s offering of myriad other on-campus events throughout the first weekend in April. For the past two years, similar efforts have also been undertaken around Halloween.

“Coming off the tragedy students were deeply affected,” said Katya Armistead, UCSB’s dean of student life. “And how important the role of the students has been in helping to now change the culture in Isla Vista and on campus cannot be overstated. Students are taking more pride in their campus and respecting their community. And that couldn’t have happened without the hard work of students themselves — especially the A.S. Program Board, which has created the most resounding, biggest impact with these concerts.

“Our students are are all about community, and our campus really set out to create opportunities for that,” Armistead continued. “Students just want to recreate together, to be together. Having the vision to engage the students to help us move our campus along in being healthier around these big events is huge, because it’s the students who make the biggest difference.”

Anderson attested to that change, saying that her peer community today feels calmer, more aware, more responsible and better bonded than ever before.

“Students are really engaged and really want to participate in this change,” Anderson said of her fellow Gauchos. “That’s so important. We couldn’t do it without their participation, and we couldn’t be as successful without them. We are not just bystanders. We are active agents in how we party and how we want to be perceived.”

A.S. Program Board’s special events coordinator, Alex Levine, has been a key player, with Anderson, in Delirium and The Warmup, among other events, booking artists; setting dates; managing production requirements and logistics; and coordinating with security, law enforcement, the fire marshal and more.

It’s stressful, tough work, she said, but it’s well worth it for the aspiring music industry professional, who hopes the efforts ultimately help remake the idea of “party weekends” at UCSB.

“These events have brought our community together a lot, and being Gauchos-only, people take so much pride in that,” said Levine, a fourth-year film and media studies major. “Students now expect these shows to happen, knowing we bring these cool artists and wondering who we’re going to have — and now that’s becoming part of the culture. I hope UCSB keeps this tradition going for years to come. Wouldn’t it be cool if these big ‘party weekends’ in the future became known for these big concerts, not for big parties?

“Partying doesn’t have to mean what a lot of people think it means,” Levine added. “It’s just about being with all your friends and having a good time. What better than a $5 concert?”

Shelly Leachman writes for the UCSB Office of Public Affairs and Communications.


Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made using a credit card, Apple Pay or Google Pay, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments and a mailing address for checks.

Thank you for your vital support.

Become a Noozhawk Supporter

First name
Last name
Select your monthly membership
Or choose an annual membership

Payment Information

Membership Subscription

You are enrolling in . Thank you for joining the Hawks Club.

Payment Method

Pay by Credit Card:

Mastercard, Visa, American Express, Discover
One click only, please!

Pay with Apple Pay or Google Pay:

Noozhawk partners with Stripe to provide secure invoicing and payments processing.
You may cancel your membership at any time by sending an email to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

  • Ask
  • Vote
  • Investigate
  • Answer

Noozhawk Asks: What’s Your Question?

Welcome to Noozhawk Asks, a new feature in which you ask the questions, you help decide what Noozhawk investigates, and you work with us to find the answers.

Here’s how it works: You share your questions with us in the nearby box. In some cases, we may work with you to find the answers. In others, we may ask you to vote on your top choices to help us narrow the scope. And we’ll be regularly asking you for your feedback on a specific issue or topic.

We also expect to work together with the reader who asked the winning questions to find the answer together. Noozhawk’s objective is to come at questions from a place of curiosity and openness, and we believe a transparent collaboration is the key to achieve it.

The results of our investigation will be published here in this Noozhawk Asks section. Once or twice a month, we plan to do a review of what was asked and answered.

Thanks for asking!

Click Here to Get Started >

Reader Comments

Noozhawk is no longer accepting reader comments on our articles. Click here for the announcement. Readers are instead invited to submit letters to the editor by emailing them to [email protected]. Please provide your full name and community, as well as contact information for verification purposes only.