With its return to live song-and-dance performances on Saturday, April 17, Songfest’s 84th edition is proof that the virtual 83rd version — an online-only event because of the pandemic — was an aberration.
This year’s event, with its musical and dancing theme of boy bands and girl groups, will begin at 5 p.m. at Savage Arena, but with COVID-19 safety protocols in place, including keeping the 2021 Songfest at a much smaller size than in years past. The competition also will be streaming live on YouTube.
“We’ve had to work with a fraction of the capacity of Savage Arena, which has been tough,” said Mike Miller, president of the Arx Chapter of Blue Key National Honor Society, which co-sponsors the event.
“It’s definitely going to feel alien for those who have been to Songfest before. Besides seating, groups will be limited to 15 participants, which I think might lead to a more level playing field. I’m most looking forward to seeing what each of our groups bring to the stage.”
Miller said putting the event together has required flexibility from the students, University staff and vendors working to make this event possible.
“We truly can’t thank them enough. The event is certainly going to look different, but we believe that the classic Songfest energy will still be there,” he said. “We’re not looking to equal past events; we’re definitely looking forward to making up for lost time.”
A part of the fabric of The University of Toledo since 1937, Songfest has long been one way for students to give back to the community. That hasn’t changed.
“We’re supporting the Greater Toledo Community Foundation this year, which helps fund community-driven projects year-round and played a significant role over this past year with their COVID Relief Fund,” Miller said. “They were selected partially because of this, and we’re really looking forward to furthering this idea of community support.”