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The Mac Weekly

The Student News Site of Macalester College

The Mac Weekly

The Student News Site of Macalester College

The Mac Weekly

Fallfest brings music to campus

By Matea Wasend

Walk through Shaw Field on Oct. 17 and you’ll find live music, hot apple cider, art stations and a pie-eating contest. The Program Board, in cooperation with Campus Programs, will be hosting the semi-annual Fallfest that day, with music beginning at 3 p.m. Student band The Muskies will be opening for nationally recognized rock singer Ted Leo and three members from the Minneapolis-based hip-hop collective Doomtree.

“It’s basically an opportunity to enjoy an outdoor concert before winter pushes us indoors,” said Assistant Director of Campus Programs Allison Greenlee.

Bon Appetit will supply hot cider, and negotiations are in the works for possible pumpkin carving. Students will also be able to try their hand at one of the four art stations (including temporary tattoos, finger-painting and canvas drawing) or participate in a pie-eating contest. Café Mac has agreed to allow students to carry dinner outside so they don’t have to miss the festivities.

Although it used to be an annual tradition, most students probably haven’t heard of Fallfest. The Concerts and Festivals Coordinator chooses a main event for each semester, and recently Fallfest has been replaced by events like last year’s Battle of the Bands.

But Hank Coshnear ’12, this year’s concerts and festivals coordinator, said he likes the idea of having a music festival each semester.

“As a first year last year I know that many of my peers weren’t that interested in Battle of the Bands. I wanted to give Mac students something to get excited for as opposed to just waiting for Springfest,” said Coshnear.

To get student input on what music to bring in for the event, Coshnear posted a discussion topic on Facebook and sent out an email survey of possible bands. Ted Leo and Doomtree were two of the top three student choices. Coshnear also opted to book a student band, partly because they are free. “It also gives them a chance to get some acclaim, especially opening for big names like we have coming in,” said Coshnear.

Students familiar with Springfest might think they know what to expect at this event. But Program Board chair Katie Agnew ’11 warned, “If you go into it thinking it will be a Springfest . you’ll be disappointed.”

The main difference, Coshnear explained, is that Fallfest is a scaled-down version of Springfest. Fallfest will cost just less than $15,000 – as much as the headliner alone at last year’s Springfest. Fallfest will feature fewer bands and no outside vendors.

To generate excitement about Fallfest, the Program Board is publicizing the event around campus. In addition to tabling and selling Fallfest t-shirts, an unnamed Program Board member might be handing out flyers dressed in a gorilla costume.

“It has worked before,” said Agnew. “It gets students enthused.”

Getting students to attend is just one of the challenges of planning an event like Fallfest. “Hosting an event like this is a big undertaking,” said Greenlee, who serves as advisor to the Program Board.

Coshnear estimates that he has put in about 2-3 hours of work a day since the beginning of the semester. According to Agnew, by the time Fallfest is over as many as 40 people will have contributed in some way.

“It’s really amazing,” said Agnew. “All the coordinators do so much and its really just a volunteer position . Hank will put in 20, 30, 40 hours in the weeks leading up to Fallfest. The outcome is usually great and its really rewarding, but all the compensation they get is student satisfaction.

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