Kelly Roderick / Lantern photographer
Rap beats, glow sticks and about 10,000 students, some who climbed trees and light poles, weren’t the only things that filled the South Oval during the Big Free Concert, as at least seven arrests were made on or near the area as well.
Skrillex and Mac Miller performed in the Ohio Union Activities Board’s 2012 Big Free Concert, which was scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. on the South Oval.
Mac Miller, whose real name is Malcolm McCormick, took the stage first, at 8:15 p.m., followed by headliner Skrillex, whose real name is Sonny John Moore, around 9:30 p.m.
The concert was delayed due to one of the artists feeling “under the weather,” OUAB Concert Chair Courtney Chow said in an email.
Despite the late start, OUAB was happy with the outcome of the event, Chow said.
“With a concert that takes months of planning, you hope for the best and expect the worst. Anything that came up was handled quickly and efficiently and, in the end, the audience showed their approval and appreciation for the show in their reaction during each of the performers’ sets,” Chow said.
Students flocked to the South Oval as early as noon to stake out their front-and-center spots. Among the first to arrive was Matt Geisen, a third-year in Japanese and a “big Skrillex fan.”
“I’ve been following (Skrillex) for a really long time,” Geisen said. “I think he has a really unique style and he came out right when dubstep was getting huge, so he was at the forefront of it. I really wanted to be front and center and make sure my friends and I got good spots.”
A mosh pit inhabited the area directly in front of the stage for most of the concert. Some attendees surrounding the pit climbed trees and light posts in the South Oval while others bobbed their heads and raised their glow sticks throughout the show.
Near the end of the concert the audience, as instructed by Skrillex, swayed with its lighters in the air and sang “You are a cinema / I could love you forever.”
As the concert came to a close before 11 p.m. and without an encore, two officers on horses and about eight officers on bikes of the Columbus Division of Police guarded Mirror Lake to prevent students from jumping in the lake after the concert. Police said there were no attempts to jump.
“Everything has been fine on our end,” said Sgt. Patrick Shaffer of the Columbus Police as the concert was ending. “A few arrests were made by OSU Police, but we haven’t had any problems.”
OSU Police filed at least seven police reports of incidents near and at the South Oval during the concert, with offenses such as trafficking in drugs, disorderly conduct, theft and possession of drugs, according to the OSU Department of Public Safety’s website. OSU Police did not respond to request for comment.
While alcoholic beverages are permitted and sold on campus, students must abide by local, state and federal laws regarding the sale and consumption of alcohol. The City of Columbus prohibits open containers in public spaces.
“I saw a girl walking around on her phone with an opened bottle of rum,” said Andrew Proctor, a fifth-year in political science and sociology. “She made it about halfway down the path before a cop grabbed her by the arm and escorted her off the South Oval. The girl actually thought that since the cap was on the bottle it wasn’t an open container.”
An after party was hosted at The Bluestone, located at 583 E. Broad St., where Skrillex met with fans and posed for photos. The party was free with anyone with a valid BuckID and $10 for anyone without.
Proctor also attended the after show.
“My roommate and I walked up to Skrillex and asked for a picture, which he nicely agreed to,” Proctor said. “I told him he killed the set and he told me he thought my Mickey Mouse shirt was awesome. That made my night.”