Program Board considers bands, new food and activities for Springfest

By April DeJarlais

Modest Mouse books for $100,000, and Andrew Bird or Tegan and Sara go for over $30,000. It is no wonder that with a $40,000 budget for Springfest, Macalester can’t always appease students’ wishes for big musical acts.”There are a lot of hoops to jump through -or get smacked in the face by,” said Lexi Abrams-Bourke ’11, a member of the Program Board and the Springfest planning committee.

Program Board members Lara Adekola ’10, Rachel Adler ’12 and Abrams-Bourke comprise the Springfest planning committee, with Assistant Director of Campus Programs Allison Greenlee as advisor. Adekola and Abrams-Bourke, who are planning Springfest for the first time, emphasized the difficulty of combining student input with what is actually feasible.

The committee created a Facebook group in which students could post ideas for bands. Students have suggested many local or smaller acts, but even those can charge up to $4,000 to $6,000 per booking, Greenlee said. Considering that half the budget is used by infrastructure for the event (i.e., staging and security), there are not typically enough funds left to book bigger names.

“There’s no way to satisfy the whole student body with one or two bands,” Adekola said.

The committee has not released names of potential bands yet but welcomes student input.

The Program Board members look to make Springfest different from past years, in order to attract more than the typical 300-400 students at any given time during the five-hour event. Standard Springfest events such as the photo booth, beer garden, and bouncy house will still be available, but food vendors will most likely be scrapped. Planners are instead looking into a barbeque and student/faculty competitions, to draw in those who “don’t just want to sit in a field and drink,” Adekola said.

Changes are being proposed to create a unified campus mood, which the planners feel is not achieved by only providing a field with music for the afternoon. A possible change is for activities to be held during the day, and the concert to be held inside the Leonard Center at night. St. Paul noise ordinances force the outdoor concert to end by 8 p.m., so the event could go later if it took place inside.

“All we’re trying to do is make an event the student body will enjoy,” Abrams-Bourke said.

Springfest will be held May 1, from 3-8 p.m. The planning committee can be reached through the Facebook group, or by email at [email protected]