In the early hours of the festival, organised to celebrate the university’s 110th anniversary, the main stage was still empty, and people were standing around the food corner, sitting by the Pavilion stairs and getting their faces painted.

HeartBeat festival three students Maya Barakova
Students taking pictures by the photo booth. Image credit: Maya Barakova

The GDFL Brassband circled around Erasmus Plaza, gathering people to watch and take videos. People were having a macarena dance off in front of the stage. Renee, a third-year Criminology student, was dressed up as Desiderius Erasmus and was walking around in full green attire. People were excited to see her and stopped to take pictures with her. “Some people were praying to me for good grades”, she said. Later in the evening she joined the stage alongside the HeartBeat festival’s mascot.

HeartBeat festival Erasmus statue student Maya Barakova
People were taking pictures with the Erasmus statue student. Image credit: Maya Barakova

Sustainability flyers

HeartBeat festival student giving out flyers Maya Barakova
History student Max was giving out flyers and snack bars at the HeartBeat festival. Image credit: Maya Barakova

Marnix, a first-year History student, was walking around with a box of snack bars, handing out Erasmus Sustainability Programme flyers. “I want to raise awareness in a more casual manner. We are usually at the Mandeville building on the third floor”, he explained About his plans for the rest of the festival, he said: “Hopefully I will join the festival in an hour and get a beer.” Joshua, a pre-master Media and Journalism student was holding a drink, enjoying the festival by the side of the crowd. He was surprised by the amount of people attending. The festival gathered around three hundred people. “The festival is going above my expectations. I never expected so many people to show up.”

HeartBeat Festival EMA showband Maya Barakova
The Erasmus Music Association performed at the festival, together with EURvision winner Christina. Image credit: Maya Barakova

The Erasmus Music Association show band was welcomed at 6.30pm, and joining them to the stage was Christina, this year’s winner of EURvision. With Christina’s encouragement to come closer, people were slowing gathering around the stage. By their last song cover, I will survive, originally by Gloria Gaynor, the space was filled with people dancing and singing along. Anna, a second year Arts and Culture student and member of Erasmus Music Association said: “I’m here to support my boyfriend. He was playing base guitar in the showband and it’s fun.”

Beb and Toos

Around 7pm, the host Lucas Meyer welcomed to the stage two ‘toilet ladies’ Beb and Toos. They brought a comedic atmosphere to the festival, giving explanations of the rules men and women should follow to keep the toilets clean. The act was followed by the ABBA tribute band, which made the festival feel like a karaoke bar with people singing along.

HeartBeat festival stage perfomance Maya Barakova
Dutch pop group Turfy Gang performing at the HeartBeat Festival. Image credit: Maya Barakova

By the end of the festival, Turfy Gang, a Dutch pop group, joined the stage. Bas, a third year Arts and Culture student, standing at the far back of the crowd was looking around. He came to check the festival ‘out of curiosity’ since he was in the library working on his thesis until late. “I lost my concentration so I will probably go home.”

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