As Snoop Dogg took the stage of Gator Growl at about 8:40 p.m., a plume of marijuana smoke engulfed the audience.
To the surprise of some audience members and Millie Llanes, the executive producer of Gator Growl, Snoop Dogg lit something on stage and smoked throughout the entire performance.
“I can’t comment on anything about Snoop Dogg,” Llanes said. “His performance, I thought, was amazing. I can’t comment on anything that he had or anything else.”
Other Gator Growl organizers and police officers didn’t know what Snoop Dogg was smoking on stage and said it may have been a cigar or cigarette.
Toward the end of the show, Snoop Dogg shouted, “Anyone want to smoke with the Dogg tonight?”
Before he concluded with “Young, Wild & Free,” Snoop Dogg asked audience members to put their lighters and their phones in the air and sing with him.
Snoop Dogg was paid $130,000, and Daya was paid $50,000, wrote Student Government Productions Chairman Alex DesRosiers in an email.
This year’s Gator Growl and all other Homecoming activities, including the pageant, Soulfest and the Homecoming Parade cost about $500,000 to produce, Llanes said.
About 14,700 tickets were sold for this year’s Gator Growl compared to just under 11,000 last year, Llanes said.
In addition to the various performances, Tim Tebow also made a surprise appearance at this year’s Gator Growl.
“We got a call 10 minutes before the show that he wanted to come on stage, and we were able to make it happen,” Llanes said. “That was probably the only thing that hadn’t been planned months in advance.”
This year’s ‘90s theme inspired Gator Growl producers to seek out Snoop Dogg as their top choice. It was also important for producers to have a female singer, so they incorporated Daya, Llanes said.
Daya took the stage at Gator Growl at about 7:25 p.m. The crowd sang along to some of her biggest hits like “Feel Good,” “Don’t Let Me Down” and “Sit Still, Look Pretty.”
Erin Tammi and Sofia Mora, UF freshmen, were excited to attend their first Gator Growl together as roommates and friends since middle school. Both said they were looking forward to hearing Daya perform.
“I had never really been to a concert before, so I didn’t know what to expect,” said Tammi, an 18-year-old UF health science freshman. “It was just fun with everyone being together while being college students.”