Barefoot on the Mall
Barefoot on the Mall is an annual festival held on The Mall at East Carolina University shortly before the beginning of exams. The idea came from an undergraduate member of the Student Union who had heard of other universities having similar festivals, and proposed to the Student Union that they plan their own.
In its early years, Barefoot exclusively featured performances from local artists. During the first ever Barefoot on the Mall, which was in 1979, the main acts were Toad the Mime and the ECU Jazz Ensemble. The festival always had a diverse roster of bands, such as the Trinidad Tripoli Steel Band, The Drifters, and a Beatles Tribute band. There were also movie showings, with Rocky Horror Picture Show and Space Jam being noteworthy entries. As ECU grew, so did their purchasing power. They still included performances by first place awardees and runners-up of the local Battle of the Bands contest up until the 2000s. However, the festival also began including performances by higher profile artists such as Whiz Khalifa, Jason Derulo, and very recently in 2019, T-Pain.