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Jeremy Zucker announced as X-Fest headliner

‘all the kids are depressed’ singer-songwriter to be lead act at second Moody Foundation concert April 19


By Viola Hsia     3/19/24 10:53pm

Singer-songwriter Jeremy Zucker will headline the second annual Moody X-Fest on April 19, according to Jeremy Miller, Rice’s communications director for Development and Alumni Relations.

Zucker is known for songs like “comethru,” “you were good to me” and “all the kids are depressed,” which have each garnered hundreds of millions of streams on Spotify. 

“I am so excited to come to Rice University,” Zucker wrote in an email to the Thresher. “Houston I’ll see you soon!”

X-Fest will be held in Founder’s Court, rain or shine. There will be a stage, food vendors and giveaways, though Miller said further details about the festival’s layout — including weather accommodations — have not been figured out as of publication.

Vendors will include Oh My Gogi, Wokker HTX, Dripped Birria, Raising Cane’s, Pudgy’s Cookies and Dough Cone, Miller said. The festival’s organizers have reached out to several student groups to perform, with Basmati Beats and Rice Lions already confirmed.

Full event details can be found on the official Moody X website.

Miller said Zucker was selected after Moody reached out to a couple of talent agencies for potential acts within the organization’s budget, which Miller declined to share. A survey was then sent out last month to both undergraduate and graduate students to gauge interest and rank potential performers, garnering a total of 841 responses. According to Miller, 48% voted Zucker as their first choice, with 16% voting him as their second.

GROUPLOVE headlined the inaugural X-Fest last year, held in Tudor Fieldhouse, which saw around 1,500 students in attendance — this year, Miller said they’re anticipating a crowd of 1,500 to 2,000 people. The festival began as a celebration of the Moody Foundation’s record-high $100 million donation to Rice. 

“Given that this is our second year to host this event, we think our campus will be aware of what to expect and excited to see the performers,” Miller wrote in an email to the Thresher. “All of these events, including our signature food and music festival on April 19, are continuing to build awareness about the transformational gift from the Moody Foundation known as the Moody Experience. Ultimately, we are looking forward to the students’ enthusiasm when they experience all that is Moody X-Fest this year.”

One additional change to this year’s festival, Miller wrote, is the introduction of Inquiry Weeks, a series of events designed to showcase “research, design, and creative work” by undergraduate students, which will happen in the weeks leading up to the concert.

“The Moody Experience is all about supporting students’ educational journeys beyond the classroom, and we’re excited to see the breadth of their work across the disciplines,” Miller wrote.

Abby Schuh, the associate director at the Office of Undergraduate Research and Inquiry, the department in charge of Inquiry Weeks, wrote in an email to the Thresher that events during Inquiry Weeks will include symposiums, performances and presentations.

Provost Amy Dittmar wrote to the Thresher that she was excited for students to experience this year’s X-Fest, and was especially glad that the headlining act was students’ first choice.

“The Moody X-Fest is a fun, high-energy celebration of the Moody Foundation’s gift, which supports many aspects of students’ education beyond the classroom,” Dittmar wrote. “I look forward to seeing the growing impact of the foundation’s transformative gift and the celebration of it through the Moody X-Fest.”

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This year’s Beer Bike took place Saturday, April 6. After a seven-minute delay, the alumni races began, followed by the women’s and then the men’s. For the second year in a row, each of the races were divided into two heats. As usual, the times from both heats will be compared, along with calculated penalties, by the Rice Program Council to determine final results. Results are not available at time of publication, and the campus-wide Beer Bike coordinators did not provide a timeline for when they will be.


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