PB plans for Spring Fling after facing financial troubles

The Program Board’s traditional line-up of spring semester programming should proceed as usual, PB Executive Chair Brian Nathanson said, quelling rumors that the organization would be forced to cancel events to make up for a $45,000 loss on its Blues Traveler concert Nov. 18.

“(PB) actually did a pretty good job keeping costs down for Homecoming this year, so we should be able to do the remainder of our programming without trouble,” Nathanson said. “Thanks to some efficient programming, the loss really shouldn’t affect us that much.”

He said PB is planning a full roster of activities this semester including International Week, Unity Week, a Jazz and Java Coffeehouse, and Spring Fling, along with PB’s ongoing film series.

Planning for Spring Fling, an afternoon party featuring free food and entertainment on the Quad, began this week as PB Parties Chair Shreema Sanghvi, Concerts Chair Ian Zeitzer and their committees discussed possible changes to the annual event.

“We will probably spend about $15,000 on Spring Fling, similar to past years,” Nathanson said.

“We’re looking into some new activities,” Sanghvi said. “Go-Karts are a tentative possibility.”

In past years, PB has amused Spring Fling participants with a dunk tank and a giant slide. The Parties Committee will hold an open meeting to explore further options, Sanghvi said.

Zeitzer’s committee evaluated several plans for Spring Fling concert programming at an organizational meeting Tuesday night. Though PB usually hires a number of smaller bands to play during the day, Zeitzer said a number of students have approached him about making the day a showcase for GW talent.

“A few student bands have talked to me about bringing back a `battle of the bands’ type format,” he said to the committee. “The students I’ve talked to said they probably wouldn’t charge us, but would really like the opportunity to play.”

Zeitzer said a large-scale evening show in the Smith Center by a well-known performer is one option under consideration. To do this, PB would contract out the athletic facility to a production company, such as Cellar Door or IMP, which books acts for the 9:30 Club. Unlike the Blues Traveler concert, for which PB organizers worked independently from production companies, GW students would not be guaranteed discount ticket rates nor would they work on the show’s production crew.

But Zeitzer said PB has been hesitant to use those companies in the past.

“Giving students a chance to help out with the shows is what PB is all about,” Zeitzer said.

On the other hand, working through a production company makes hosting the show virtually free for PB and almost guarantees a big-name act at the Smith Center.

Of the seven students at the meeting, most approved of a large-scale evening show but also offered many suggestions for talent during the day, including a Led Zeppelin tribute band, a hip-hop group and a swing band. Zeitzer said he plans to look into all of the committee’s suggestions and will contact the production companies soon.

“Hopefully all the plans will be in place as soon as possible,” he said. “I just want to make sure we end up giving the students the best deal we can.”

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