by Mandy Pennington
Midnight Breakfast is one of Greenville College’s most beloved traditions. Students gather in the Dining Commons for breakfast food at “midnight” (in reality, 10:30pm), live music, and dancing. The event usually happens the night of the last day of classes as a celebration of the end of the semester.
Put on by GCSA, Midnight Breakfast always features a fun and interactive theme. Themes from recent years include Neon Lights, 1990s, Suit and Tie, Star Wars, and Beach. The DC is thematically decorated wall to wall, and filled with dressed-up students. On a college campus where there aren’t many opportunities to dress up, students enjoy going all out for each Midnight Breakfast theme. Caleb Carlson, a member of the group formerly known as The Great Indoors, explained his personal Midnight Breakfast style. “I wear Christmas sweaters for the fall semester Midnight Breakfast and Hawaii during the Spring Midnight Breakfast because it’s the only thing that makes sense, ya know?” A student favorite was last spring’s Star Wars theme. Maci Sepp, the planner of the event, said, “It was a blast to make and buy decorations. Plus, it seemed like the perfect way to combine the nerd, the throwback kid, and the pop culture know-it-all that we all have deep inside us.”
In addition to the delicious (Sunday-brunch level) breakfast food and the fantastic themes, Midnight Breakfast features incredible live music from on-campus bands. For the last few semesters, the Audio Engineering department has taken on the responsibility of running sound and lights for the event. Working for around 17 hours that day, they move all of the equipment from the Blackroom to the DC and set up a stage, lighting rig, and boards. Hannah Horton, a senior, explained, “My first time working on Midnight Breakfast was in spring of 2016 and I was on the lighting team. For fall of 2016, I was the lead lighting engineer, so I built the show from scratch.” Midnight Breakfast is not only a fun event for campus, but has also become a learning experience for these Audio Engineering majors. Hannah continued, “Working together with older, younger, experienced, inexperienced, and dedicated people really shows you that sometimes you don’t need to know everything for everything to work out — the ability to listen, learn, and laugh at yourself are the greatest qualities anyone can have while working in live sound.”
Generally, bands play popular music that encourages dancing and crowd participation. Not only do the attending students have a blast, but the band members describe Midnight Breakfast as an unforgettable performance. ”Playing at Midnight Breakfast was quite the adrenaline rush,” said Jairin Schad, member of Midnight Breakfast alumni band SideQuest. “Playing pop music was a different experience for us as a band, so it was a ton of fun to learn a few top 40s and channel my inner Taylor Swift.” Caleb Carlson said, “I played synth last minute with TGI, and it was pretty remarkable when we played ‘Sorry’ by Justin Bieber. That hook makes people wanna throw down.” The crowd lets loose after their last day of classes, and creates a wonderful energy that fuels the bands’ performances. Jairin continued, “My favorite part is the energy that people give out and the tight-knit vibes it creates. It’s nice to have a group who will jump with you and sing out.” Eddie Allison, who played with Fusion last semester, described his experience as “friggin’ awesome.”
Midnight Breakfast is one of GCSA’s biggest events of the semester. Maci Sepp said, “I love seeing students come together before finals to show off their talents on stage, let loose on the floor, and stuff their faces with breakfast foods. At Midnight Breakfast, all the stress and anxiety of the semester washes away.” Memories are made, music is played, breakfast food is eaten, and Midnight Breakfast continues to be a smash hit on campus.