Sun rises for student artists at second annual Sunset Fest

Wilbur field shimmered with live performances, food trucks and art vendors last Thursday as students gathered in celebration of Sunset Fest. The event, which was organized by Neighborhood Sequoia and first hosted last year, ran from 6 to 9 p.m. and featured activities such as face painting, live caricature artists and student vendors.

According to festival attendee Annie Villalta ’25, the event added to the atmosphere of spring quarter and “[made] the campus look very lively.” Former Daily editor Lana Tleimat ’24 commented on the large size of the crowd at the festival; with a line meandering all the way off Wilbur Field to get tickets for free food, the crowds were indeed thick, but Tleimat said that the food made up for it.

The event featured plenty of options to feed the crowds, with food truck selections including Middle Eastern and Chinese food and desserts like cake in a jar and frozen custard. Among the items available, the line of hungry patrons demonstrated that the most popular option seemed to be chow mein sold by Wokitchen.

Members of the Stanford Storyboard Club staffed several booths with a variety of student-designed creations to sell. Options such as stickers, clay earrings, posters, paintings, and crochet creations littered tables. Other vendors sold caricatures, tarot card readings and more. 

Alongside the festival’s art vendors, Sunset Fest also provided student groups with the opportunity to set up booths to raise awareness about their organizations; one group that tabled was the Stanford chapter of the American Lung Cancer Screening Initiative, which had a wheel-of-fortune set up where students could win Amazon gift cards or snacks after taking a survey, following their Instagram and recommending the organization to three friends.

Student groups performed on a center stage throughout the duration of the event, including Cardinal Calypso, Stanford’s premiere steelpan drumming band, and O-tone, Stanford’s all-gender East Asian interest a cappella group. 

“There’s really nothing that compares to the euphoric feeling of being in wonderful communities,” said Ariana Jose ‘27, one of O-tone’s members. She reflected on how Sunset Fest, which allowed her to spend time with O-tone and friends, reminds her of the many communities on campus that Stanford students have the opportunity to engage with. 

“This was a special moment for all of us […] seeing others enjoying themselves on the field and being able to share our music alongside extremely talented performers, vendors, and artists,” Jose said.

However, some students expressed that they wished that the event had featured their favorite student bands. “I think it’d be awesome if they have student bands perform,” said Kurt Enriquez ’25, who gave a “shout out” to Six of Spades. 

Sunset Fest continued long after the sun had set, with students laughing with each other as they waited in line for food, or lounging and listening to music while comparing their recent purchases until 10 p.m.

The event is one of spring quarter’s Neighborhood All-Campus Events — organized by each of the eight Neighborhood Councils — alongside upcoming events like the Aspen Sound Summit, Hyperion Dragfest and Redwood Block Party next month.