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Photo: Marcus Katz

Penn Football is poised to kick off their season at Franklin Field this Saturday, but that's not all that students have to look forward to. 

Skimmerfest, the annual music festival that follows the first home Penn football game, promises free food, T-shirts and a live concert. This year, Penn will play Ohio Dominican University before the Sept. 16 concert in Penn Park.

This year's headliner is Kiiara, whose hits include "Gold" and "Whippin." Rolling Stone magazine described her music as "[m]inimalist, glitchy anti-pop with the perfect rhythm for any party."

The opening act is “Eleven,” a duo featuring College senior Karis Stephen and 2017 College graduate Blue Bookhard. Social Planning and Events Committee President and College senior Austin Borja calls the lineup a “match made in heaven."

The event will also feature a photo booth and free concessions from food trucks Schmear It, Lil Pop Shop, Mac Mart, Nina's Waffles and Undrgrnd Donuts. 

Elizabeth Goran, director of SPEC Concerts, said organizers chose Kiiara because her style is “kind of that electronic poppy, happy vibe that we go for with [Skimmerfest].”

Ricky Rajani, Engineering senior and 2018 Class Board webmaster, said one priority for this year's event was to provide more T-shirts. 

"Last year we ran out of T-shirts in about 20 minutes," Austin added. "We ordered more T-shirts this year. That was a no-brainer for us.”

Goran also said she thinks Kiiara will attract a bigger crowd than previous performers, adding that the concert will "hopefully bring out more freshmen — get them more excited."

Skimmerfest — called Skimmer before it was combined with Fall Fest in 2012 — began in 1949 as an effort to attract attention to the men’s crew team races. It was replaced by Spring Fling in 1973 and revived in 2011 as an effort to generate student support for the football team. 

Goran emphasized that Skimmerfest is for all Penn students — not just freshmen. 

“I think that in general it’s a great event for all class years to go to," she said. 

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