Photo Credit: Red & Black
Red & Black Article by Lucinda Warnke – August 2023
Picture this: it’s the moment right before the fourth quarter. Sanford Stadium is packed to the gills with fans, and the air is thick with humidity and the tension of a tight game. Then, the Redcoat Band roars to life with “Krypton,” and suddenly tens of thousands of cell phones light up the stands.
Light Up Sanford, as it’s known, is an iconic moment for Georgia fans. Unlike other gameday traditions — such as Calling the Dawgs and the Dawg Walk — Light Up Sanford is relatively new, first happening during Georgia’s final home game of the 2015 season against Georgia Southern.
Ahead of the game, Kenneth Hubbard, a trumpeter in the Redcoat Band, came across a YikYak post suggesting that students and fans light up the stadium at the start of the fourth quarter during Krypton. Hubbard liked the idea and posted it to the Redcoat Band Facebook page. From there, another trumpeter, Grayze Anne Sepe, made graphics to advertise the idea and created a Facebook event page. Social media was abuzz with the idea, and soon podcasts, talk shows and radio shows were mentioning it.
Not wanting the tradition to fade at the end of the season, the Redcoat Band advertised it again on social media the following year. It really gained steam in 2017 when the tradition appeared at a slew of Georgia’s night games.
It didn’t gain the coveted status of tradition until Georgia’s 2019 game against Notre Dame. Hubbard told DawgNation that UGA Athletics was initially hesitant to accept Light Up Sanford due to its novelty, but after fans set Sanford aglow during the Notre Dame game, they were ready to embrace it.
Since then, Light Up Sanford has become a Georgia football staple and even appeared at Georgia’s two national championship games in Indianapolis and Los Angeles. As the Bulldogs enter the 2023 season, fans can look forward to many more glowing games between the hedges.