On October 21st, Howard University’s Homecoming staple International Yardfest saw it’s resurgence following a years long hiatus and it was completely worth the hype. Despite initial skepticism from students due to minimal details given by the Homecoming Steering Committee and the threat of constant rain, Yardfest surged on, bringing one of Howard’s greatest traditions back to the forefront.

The five hour free concert was headlined by Faith Evans, Common and Fabolous. Although presented to be an event geared more at alumni, the acts were warmly and enthusiastically welcomed by students. Faith Evans opened the show and performed hits such as “Soon As I Get Home” and “Love Like This”, which incited energy in the crowd that was pushing through rain and chilly temperatures. Next, was Common who performed the poignant “Black America Again”, a powerful spoken word piece that encouraged the audience to think critically about the issues facing the Black community today and caused all to raise their fist in solidarity.

At this time, the sun began to peek through and with it the energy of the crowd only increased. When special guests WillThaRapper and Lil Uzi Vert took the stage, it was for lack of a better word, lit. The crowd was exhilarated, singing and dancing along enthusiastically as the rappers performed their sets. The weight of the crowd reverberated throughout the Yard. Drinks were spilled and toes were stepped on. As freshman Madeline Brown remarked, “Everybody just went insane. People were jumping and it was just crazy.”

In between sets, Howard’s very own MicManMal and DJ Dream kept the crowd’s energy up, leading them in the tried and true Swag Surf. The ensuing pandemonium created the perfect atmosphere for the last performer of the night, Fabolous. Fabolous’s set was accentuated by the unexpected appearance of D.C native, Wale. The two rappers energies bounced off of one another as they took the crowd through popular bops like “No Hands” and “Make Me Better”.

As the show ended and the sun began to set, Howard students and alumni milled across the Yard, excited to commemorate their home and revitalize a tradition that has been deeply missed, but is officially back and better than ever.

Watch the recap video by Brianna Jenkins:

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