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Concert Culture on Campus

By Leah Elliott and Leila Katibah

The University of California, Santa Barbara has a rich music history and concert culture, hosting a variety of iconic performances and concerts over the years. Most of these performances are organized by students at the Associated Students Program Board. AS Program Board is a student operated non-profit organization funded by lock-in student fees used to host fun, educational, and often musical events. By providing affordable live music for students, a culture and community is fostered on campus in which music is an integral unifying force. Student life at UCSB is in part characterized by annual concerts, such as Welcome Back, Delirium, the Warm Up, and Extravaganza, once named #1 “University Festivals to Crash” by College Magazine. These events highlight local artists as well as national and global big-name acts, drawing thousands of students every year.

Welcome Back

The Welcome Back concert is exactly what it sounds like; a concert hosted at the beginning of the year to mark the transition from summer to school and the beginning of another amazing year at UCSB. A.S. program board takes to kicking off the next academic term by hyping students the best way they know; with a free concert in the Storke Plaza, the heart of campus. While one of the smaller live music events of the year, it is always a crowd pleaser, with past artists including Cuco, Buddy, and Dj Kiki Bones.


Delirium is an annual Halloween concert hosted in the Thunderdome. It was first introduced as a form of alternative programming in response to the university and locality’s stricter ordinances during the Halloween weekend. Born out of a tumultuous 2013-2014 academic year, Delirium is a big Halloween concert entirely booked and organized by students, with the exception of the university providing security, parking, and portable toilets. Past concerts have featured a variety of music genres such as rap, R&B, and EDM, with artists like Isaiah Rashad, Binki, Denzel Curry, doechii, Gunna, Omar Apollo, Snoop Dogg, and Tchami performing.

(AS Program Board)

The The Warm-Up

During Deltopia weekend, the first weekend of April in Isla Vista, notorious for “daygers” on Del Playa drive, ASPB hosts a concert as a form of safer, alternative programming, typically dubbed “The Warm Up.” This provides students with a much needed break from the drinking and partying that many partake in during Deltopia weekend. This year, Coi Leray and Channel Tres performed at the Thunderdome. Past concerts have included Flo Milli, Pierre Bourne, Troyboi, Vince Staples, Dominic Fike, Purity Ring, Sweater Beats, and more.

(The Bottom Line UCSB)


Since 1979, A.S. program has worked to pool together student funds for an annual free music festival dubbed ‘Extravaganza’. For over 40 years, generations upon generations of Gauchos have assembled at UCSB’s Harder Stadium every Spring quarter to enjoy music, food, and other fun activities like face painting, photo booths, and games for free merch. Consistently one of the largest events on campus, A.S. program board’s Extravaganza has hosted an impressive lists of artists; some key guests including Stevie Nicks, Drake, Snoop Dog, Kendrick Lamar, Mac Miller, and Steve Aoki (UCSB alum himself).

Students all across campus look forward to this event every year; incoming third-year Aliyah Habib shares, “I have always loved live music, it’s a major part of my life- but being in college makes it financially difficult to budget for concerts. So, it’s really awesome that UCSB works so hard to consistently bring these artists to our school. My friends and I get especially excited for Extravaganza each year, and it means a lot that we can take a day to step away from studying to enjoy our favorite artists right on campus.”

Every year, around three to four artists, ranging in style and genre to meet the diverse taste of UCSB’s student demographic, come to headline and take over the stadium for a day, ultimately contributing to UCSB’s distinctly creative, supportive, and celebratory culture.

Even over the 2020 pandemic, A.S. program board’s Extravaganza 2021 still aimed to deliver by converting the event onto a virtual platform that took a turn by hosting comedians, DJ’s, and other R&B artists over Zoom. Since the in person transition back to campus over the past year and a half, A.S. program board has worked to restore it to its full glory- Bringing artists like Remi Wolf, who just headlined this year's Coachella, and Galantis, who headlined the Las Vegas EDC festival.

Extravaganza only shows to get more ‘extra’ each year, and as a UCSB student, this is definitely an event you do not want to miss!

Storke Plaza Shows

Famous artists aren’t the only figures on campus when it comes to live music. Working to promote the small artists in our community, A.S. program board is always reaching out to student artists throughout the year, helping showcase the local talent and keep the spirit of live music rampant throughout campus. Called ‘Noon Storke Shows’, at random points all throughout the academic year, student artists take the stage from 12-1 pm, working to uplift the community and their talents. UCSB has had notable alumni in the music industry such as Dj Steve Aoki, and singer/songwriter Jack Johnson, starting out as small artists in Isla Vista themselves. So, we encourage you to take a peek at the Storke Noon shows whenever they occur- after all, you could be watching the next pop sensation!

Live music is a crucial part of the UCSB campus and the student’s here consistently work to bring vibrancy, connection, and an escape from the intensity of college life with a variety of concerts all throughout the year. Whether it’s your favorite artist, a new artist, or a local student showcasing their work, any concert at UCSB is a really special experience and an excellent insight into the community as a whole– We hope you check them out during your time in Santa Barbara.

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