Springfest will host local bands, mechanical bull, bounce house

By Mari Mejia

Finding a home for Springfest proved to be a bit of a challenge this year, but now that students and administrators have agreed on Shaw Field, Springfest Coordinator Dan Truchan ’09 said it will be “the best Springfest ever.” Springfest, which will be held on April 19, will feature a lineup of both local and out-of-state bands, including Bugz in the Dark, The Blend, Dance Band, White Light Riot, Os Passistas Samba Group and Yo Majesty.

“Initially, we were looking at the lawn in front of Old Main for its obviously more picturesque and less muddy landscape. However, with Commencement coming so soon on the heels of Springfest, the administration was worried about ‘the integrity of the lawn,'” Truchan said.

In addition to listening to music, students will also be able to amuse themselves with painting a mural, playing a giant game of twister, riding a mechanical bull, jumping in a bounce house or smoking it up in a shaded and carpeted “Bring Your Own Hookah” space. The Program Board has also booked a photo booth and henna artist, both of which will be providing their services free of charge.

Food-wise, vendors will be offering Sno-cones and cotton candy, while Café Mac will serve a picnic style dinner of hot dogs, hamburgers and similar food for students to take outside. The beer garden will also make its return to Springfest this year, this time around featuring Finnegan’s Irish Amber, which is brewed by Summit for Finnegan’s, a nonprofit company.

Admission for Macalester students is free, while $5 is charged for ACTC students and $20 for the general public. The proceeds from this will go toward purchasing carbon credits, which will help to offset the environmental impact of energy consumption.

Truchan said that having Springfest on Shaw Field may reap some benefits.

“Shaw is easier for a couple reasons. First, we can draw power for the stage and sound from Olin Rice, which we couldn’t do from Old Main,” he said. “It’s easier for trucks to access Shaw, and we need less security to patrol potential exits and entrances. Yeah, it’s kinda lame and muddy, but with what we have planned and some nice weather, we anticipate this will be the best Springfest in years.”

In addition to finding a space for Springfest, the Program Board has dealt with band booking issues. Macalester won the competition to get the Blue Scholars to come play on campus, but the contest only guaranteed a preferred booking, and the board didn’t have enough funds to cover the flight and hotel necessities for the group to come in time for Springfest. However, the Blue Scholars will be performing at Macalester sometime in the fall.

Besides difficulties in getting bands, loud noise is something both Macalester and the surrounding community has had to deal with in the past.

“There are some of our neighbors who get pretty cranky about our loud music. There are some who leave town, but mostly they just call the dean of students or the police. Frankly, I would say to them that they’ve chosen to live in a place which is literally surrounded by colleges, and that if they’re not used to students making noise once in a while, maybe they should move. Who expects college students to be well-mannered?” Truchan said.

Thomas Welna, director of the High Winds Fund and often the recipient of phone calls from angry neighbors, said that that the majority of people in the surrounding area is understanding.

“Most people tolerate it. On a whole our neighbors are generally happy to be next to Macalester,” he said. “More years than not there’s not that many complaints.”

Locating Springfest in Shaw Field could help address some of the noise problems. “They might not have to have [the volume] as loud with the buildings there because the sound waves will be bouncing off of them,” Welna said.

All in all, Springfest is looking to be a fun event.

“I would encourage everyone who reads this to at least come by and see your student activity fee hard at work,” Truchan said. “We’ve really put our hearts into creating something everyone can enjoy, so put down your homework for a day and come hang out!