Sing, dance and eat at the High Dive

Are you new to Gainesville and you are tired of going to the same ol’ club and seeing the same ol’ drunk people after 2 a.m.? Or maybe you have lived here for a good amount of time, but you don’t have new “spots” to go to because the atmosphere in all the places are quite similar, so you rather stay at home? Well, this post is aimed specifically for you! (If and only if you have not attended this location, which is known as the “epicenter of live music and events in Downtown Gainesville.”)

The High Dive, located at SW 2 Avenue, has welcomed several owners and name changes since the 90s, but it’s probably best known as the flagship location of Nigel Hamm’s legendary venue “Common Grounds.” The High Dive shares the building with Five Star Pizza, (an easy way to kill two birds with one stone – order some oozey-cheese-dripping pizza before or after watching some performances) which is next to the southwest parking garage and across from Jones B-Side. The High Dive has the biggest dedicated parking lot of any venue in downtown, and parking is always free, so you won’t have to worry about your car getting towed.

Common Grounds has lived up to its name; this weekend venue mingles national acts with emerging indie artists and side projects, comedians, college kids and plenty of Gville locals. To this point in time, the High Dive continues the tradition, ensuring that Gainesville remains Florida’s most alternative city and a cool place to see live music.

This venue is unlike any other in Gainesville. It provides a professional concert experience in a gritty rock ‘n’ roll environment, something that is seen more often in bigger cities. This historic venue has maintained the warm and friendly rock ‘n’ roll feel with a fresh rustic-chic sheen.

The High Dive has the largest and highest quality sound system of any venue in Gainesville, and it recently updated its lighting and video systems. Along with its lighting and video systems, the High Dive’s renovation includes numerous permanent seating, refinished bars, refinished artist backstage and much more!

Last but not least, if you are not craving pizza, you will have the option to choose from several food trucks! Yes, you read it right: food trucks! Local food trucks set up in front of the High Dive’s entrance at various times, serving a wide variety of dishes at affordable prices. Maybe you’ll get lucky enough and you’ll be present when the High Dive hosts the Original Gainesville Food Truck Rally with over 10 local trucks on site, which occurs every six weeks (jot this on your calendar).

What are you waiting for? Click the link below to see which performance you would like to attend this month and go; try a new environment and enjoy it with a special someone, with your friends or by yourself (no one is judging).

Come out to this venue and enjoy the first-class, front-row ticket to this country’s most vital concert halls. I hope to catch you there; until next time!


UF presents The All-American Rejects for free

The University of Florida held another spectacular event this past Friday, November 5 at Flavet Field. The best part of it all is that it was free and open to the public. If you were to read the following lyrics, would you automatically guess who it’s by?

“I’ll keep you my dirty little secret (dirty little secret) don’t tell anyone, or you’ll be just another regret (just another regret, hope that you can keep it) my dirty little secret”

YES. You’ve guessed it; I won’t keep it my dirty my little secret (see what I did there). The Student Government Productions did it again and brought another great band this fall semester to our beautiful campus. One of the biggest rock bands of the 2000s, The All-American Rejects, were here at Gainesville and performed to hundreds of people. I was lucky enough to be in the crowd and interview a hardcore fan, too!

Stephanie Dhuman, 24, is a masters student here at UF, and she made sure to take time off of her busy schedule to go see her all-time favorite high school band perform. If you missed this experience, I’m sorry, but read the interview below that I had with Dhuman, so you could imagine how the concert was like based off of her experience.

Q. How did you hear about The All-American Rejects coming to UF?

A. I saw the event on Facebook and a few of my friends said they were interested in it, and I remembered how much I liked them in high school so I clicked the “interested” button.

Q. What was your favorite part of the concert? 

A. When they played “Move Along” at the end because everyone was jumping and screaming. It was really cool to see everyone jamming out to a throwback together. There were hundreds of people there.

Q. Did you go alone or with friends? How was the interaction?

A. I went with one friend. We didn’t really talk to anyone else. Everyone seemed to be in their own world and in their own little groups, but it seemed that they were having fun all together.

Q. What were your emotions/feelings during the concert?

A. I had like all the feels from high school. Really reminiscent of the end of middle school and high school years, and it just brought me back to that moment. I didn’t think that was going to happen but it did.

Q. On a scale of 1 to All-American Rejects, how would you rate the concert and why? 

A. All American Rejects! They were definitely in their moment and having a lot of fun up on that stage.

Q. Describe the concert in one word

A. I want to say high school, but that would be two words. Maybe, throwback. It was a lot of fun, but it was definitely a throwback of years ago.


Fans singing along to “Move Along” at Flavet Field. It was the penultimate song and everyone jumped up and down and  waved their hands non-stop. Photo by: Carmen Arce

Fall tunes: Top 10 hits shared by UF students


Leaves lying on the floor outside of my apartment. Photo by: Carmen Arce

Fall semester may have started in August, but it wasn’t until September 22 that the actual fall season began. I have never truly experienced any of the four seasons because to Miamians, like myself, it’s summer year-round. However, as I walked to the bus stop, listening to Drake’s hit single, “Controlla,” I noticed something so unusual to me – different colored leaves!

Orange leaves, yellow leaves and red leaves were on the ground, but they weren’t the only things falling this fall semester at Gainesville. Although some of the songs mentioned below are upbeat in tempo and prepare you for the turn-up, several of them take you on a trip down memory lane.

Whether you’re looking for hits that are being listened to in the 352 to update your Spotify playlist, or you’re just curious about the emotional, heartache songs UF students are listening to, you definitely came to the right place. Check out the list below and see whether you find yourself listening to the same songs as several of your UF peers.

  1. Starboy – The Weeknd

“He’s my favorite artist. It’s about him starting a new chapter in his life, and I started a new chapter in my life at college.” Jason Dhuman, 18, criminology

  1. Gold – Kiiara

“It’s basically like the saying ‘if you love something set it free. If it comes back, it’s yours. If not, it was never meant to be.’ The song taught me to let go.” Claudia Fernandez, 21, psychology

  1. Hardwired – Metallica

“It’s a return to form for them. I feel that it’s better than what modern rock has to offer.” – Said Giron, 20, chemistry

  1. Don’t Stop Believing – Journey

“I watch hockey and it’s the home-game anthem for my favorite hockey team – the Detroit Redwings. It gives me all the feels from home.” – Stephanie Dhuman, 24, third-year sociology grad student

  1. Daddy Lessons – Beyoncé  

“It has a nice smooth rhythm that blends country style vocal with strong blues beats. It feels like a perfect blend of my background. Plus, the lyrics are about not taking crap from a guy, so I can relate.” – Khrysten Lopez, 21, nursing

  1. Broccoli – D.R.A.M. (Feat. Lil Yachty)

“It’s a stupid song, but I catch myself saying ‘In the middle of the party b***h get off me’ when the song isn’t playing. I’m just trying to do me.” Matt Garcia, 20, biology

  1. One Call Away – Charlie Puth

“It represents how I am with my friends or when I’m in a relationship. I will always be there. All you have to do is call. It means so much to me and it relaxes me.” – John Rivera, 21, computer science engineering

  1. Fake Love – Drake

“My ex keeps trying to come back into my life, and he is a liar.” – Victoria Medina, 20, microbiology and cell science

  1. Trouble – J. Cole

“It’s about relationships, a physical type of relationship, and it’s just a fun song to vibe to.” – Juan Zapata, 20, electrical engineering

  1. For Free – DJ Khaled (Feat. Drake)

“The beat is catchy, the lyrics are catchy and it’s the turn-up song for my friend and me before we head out during the weekend. It reminds me of how great it is to be single sometimes.” Alessia Beck, 20, advertising

Students sing and dance at Gator Growl 2016


Fireworks at the end of Gator Growl. Photo was taken through Snapchat using its geotag. Photo by: Carmen Arce

As Homecoming Week came to an end, the major event that everyone awaited finally arrived: Gator Growl!

Held on Friday, October 14 at the Flavet Field, Gator Growl started promptly at 6:00 p.m.

Gator Growl is a rooted tradition at the University of Florida, and it has captivated the Gator Nation for over 90 years. It is a University of Florida tradition that marks the culmination of Homecoming Week, and the amount of student participation that goes into an event like this has given Gator Growl the right to call itself the largest student-run pep rally in the nation.

For nearly 40 years, world renowned artists have given their performance at Gator Growl. This year, Passion Pit; Timeflies; Maddie and Tae; and Waka Flocka Flame took the stage on Flavet Field.

The event started with American female country music duo composed of Madison Marlow and Taylor Dye, both of whom are singers, songwriters and guitarists. Because it was one of the first performances, there were not too many people present. However, these two young women had the audience, mainly females, singing along to their well-known hit “Girl in a Country Song.”

As the sun set, and the night got darker, more and more individuals arrived. No matter the direction you stood or stared, Flavet Field was filled with young, energetic individuals eating recently bought food from the food trucks and singing along with the performers.

By the time of the third performance, a lot of the people in the crowd were extremely hyped, especially when it was announced that Queens-bred, Atlanta-based rapper, Waka Flocka Flame, was up next.

The riotous rapper has undergone an artistic transformation since his 2010 debut of Flockaveli, and he continues to experiment with his sound, but always with the focus on growing as a rapper.

Flocka, who penned hits like “O Let’s Do It” and “No Hands,” had everyone in a #trance that evening. His high energy, which permeated through the field, is the sole reason he has earned the nickname “Turn Up God.”

Speaking of which, his EDM album Turn Up God will be released sometime this year, so for you Flocka fans, be on the lookout!

Like every other good thing in life, the show came to an end. However, it was an unforgettable evening. The loud booms and colorful flashes filled the air as fireworks exploded continuously. For a Friday evening on campus grounds, the individuals seemed very satisfied based on their body language, facial expressions and comments among each other.  I wonder who will perform in our beautiful campus next year. Until next time, my fellow Gators!


Students from the Gainesville community perform at Soulfest 2016


Curtis M. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts. Photo by: Carmen Arce

On the evening of October 12 at the Curtis M. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts, the 93rd UF Homecoming and Gator Growl presented Soulfest 2016: The Dawn of a Revolution.

Soulfest is a live, multicultural performance that showcased different forms of expressions and art  from the students of the University of Florida and the Gainesville community. Soulfest promotes creativity and the celebration of personal identity in the Gator Nation during our annual Homecoming week.

This year, Soulfest continued the tradition of a timeless event and allowed us to stand together against the turmoil that the multicultural communities face every day. At Soulfest, the performers “growled” through art, cultural appreciation and music. With love and unity, the performers demonstrated the importance of change that is needed in our campus and country.

The event had it all: singing, dancing, stepping and more. The first performance was by the Explosive Steppers, which is the first non-Greek affiliated step team at the University of Florida. The diversity of the team’s members provides a vibrant and energetic environment for those to pursue their passion for stepping: an art form demonstrating strength, finesse and endurance. Click below to view their performance.

Video by: Carmen Arce

Aside from promoting creativity and personal identity, the performers gave it their all on the stage to see which team would take their talents to Gator Growl, the biggest event of Homecoming Week, on Friday, October 14.

“I came to support my friends who are on the Sabor Latino dance team,” said Brandon Apagueño a third-year psychology major at UF.

Apagueño was ecstatic when hearing that Sabor Latino won the competition.

“Sabor Latino will be performing at Gator Growl! I know they’re (his friends) expecting me to go for sure now,” Apagueño said.

If you missed Sabor Latino’s performance at Soulfest, don’t worry, you have the opportunity to see them at Gator Growl alongside Passion Pit; Waka Flocka Flame and DJ Whoo Kid; Timeflies; and Maddie & Tae.

Click the link below if you haven’t purchased your tickets yet, and please stay safe at the event. Until next time!

Gainesville residents danced nonstop to Latin music


Gilberto de Paz and Tropix were getting the crowd ready to dance. They opened up their performance with Celia Cruz’s song Quimbara. Photo by Carmen Arce

“Do you want to go to a music event tonight?” asked my friend Christianne Custodio, “it’s free.” She asked at the perfect time because I recently made one month living in Gainesville, so what better way to celebrate my monthiversary, than going to a free music event?

Gainesville’s “Free Fridays” Concert Series and the Latino Film Festival partnered to bring the Gainesville community an unforgettable Latin night. Performances by Gilberto de Paz who is known as “el maestro de la salsa” (the master of salsa) and Tropix kept every Gainesville resident, who was present, on their toes and in a happy mood.

On September 23, the Bo Diddley Community Plaza, located in Downtown Gainesville, was lit, literally, with purple lights focused on the performers on the main stage. The event started at 8 p.m., and it was nearly impossible to find parking. Once we arrived to the locale, people were already dancing and enjoying the vibes. Genres ranged from Salsa to Bachata, and the beats of those genres had everyone swaying left to right and front to back.

Click below to watch a snippet of people dancing to the song Stand By Me.

Video by: Carmen Arce

“C’mon. Get off those chairs and start dancing!” shouted one of the performers. Little did you know, that is what people started doing. It’s as if someone yelled “free food!” and everybody hurried to get some. People were dancing in every corner, and I felt the sense of community in Gainesville.

There was an array of people present: adults, children and even college students! Who would have thought to have seen college students at this event on a Friday evening? Aren’t they usually clubbing or bar-hopping? Anyway, I would have never imagined a place to be filled with such a diverse group where everyone was so friendly with one another. Being a part of this crowd made me feel right at home; it was very heartwarming.

The event lasted two hours, and people made sure to enjoy every second of it. Before a new genre was presented, one of the performers would explain from which country the genre originated from, the way you are supposed to dance to it and then encouraged everyone to try it out.

Partaking in the dancing would’ve made that night much better, but I still have time and so do you. Come out next Friday to see for yourself what these artists have to offer. Click the link below to stay informed about the dates and times for the remaining performances. Until next time!