Quadmania: behind the scenes of Cheat Codes

Photo by Alex McKenzie

Quadmania: behind the scenes of Cheat Codes

Quadmania is an annual tradition in the spring at UMBC that features a carnival and celebrity concert performances. Hosted by the Student Events Board, the day-long event always takes a lot of time and effort to prepare, and this year was no different. Led by president Mark Girguis, a senior majoring in Information Systems, SEB worked along with Campus Life and other administrators to book in this year’s act, Cheat Codes.

Cheat Codes is an Electronic Dance Music group based in Los Angeles whose members include KEVI, Trevor Dahl and Matthew Russell. Their most notable song is “No Promises,” which features singer Demi Lovato.

SEB begins the artist selection process by making an initial list of suggestions. Then, Campus Life and other administrators make phone calls to those on the list, while also reaching out to other potential performers that were not initially suggested by SEB. In the end, Campus Life makes the final choice as to who is available and at what cost.

Student feedback to SEB revealed that some were tired of the constant male rappers that frequented the stage at Quadmania, so this year, they tried going another route. This led them down the EDM route, considering that the “D.M.V. area has a high interest in the genre,” according to Girguis.

When it was initially announced who the artist last month, many were left wondering who Cheat Codes was, considering the group is not well-known at UMBC. Considering this, the SEB president commented he noticed the organization was getting a lot of blame for its choice in artist this year, considering many were disappointed with the choice of performer this year. Girguis explained, “I feel like students think SEB sits down together and has a list and picks from that list, but it’s not that simple.” He stated he hopes students understand now how the process works.

While the concert had been planned to take place in the Retriever Athletic Center, a decision was made to move it to the University Center Ballroom when ticket sales ended up being lower than expected.

The stage was set up Friday evening before from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m., during which time SEB and UMBC Events employees constructed the stage: assembling trusses, fixing up curtains and setting up the light and sound system. Doors opened at 8 p.m., and students trickled into the darkened Ballroom that lit up with hues of purple and blue lights. The Quadmania stage was front and center with two video screens boasting the Cheat Codes logo.

When the clock struck nine, Cheat Codes arrived on stage as carbon dioxide gas exploded, inflatables were bounced and cash was thrown from the stage by singer Trevor Dahl.

For the next two hours, the show was a blur of students jumping to the beat and singing along to the songs. One concert-goer commented at the end, “I love Cheat Codes! He grabbed my hand and it’s no big deal, but I touched him like three times!” After the show’s end, the U.C. Ballroom was scattered with confetti, mingling students and background music, the only remnants of yet another well-enjoyed Quadmania Concert.