Rainy weather moves Fall Fest indoors

Saturday’s chance of showers and hazy morning forced the Program Board to move its annual Fall Fest to the Smith Center for the first time in eight years.

The event attracted almost 900 fewer students this year, which PB leaders attributed to the location change. PB advertised the venue switch early Saturday morning by sending out an e-mail and hanging up posters in the University Yard – where Fall Fest was slated to be held – and other areas on campus. Almost 2,200 people attended.

Jon Reiling, PB executive chair, said the organization hoped to attract at least 3,500 people if it were held outdoors.

“A festival environment is preferable to have outside, especially with nice weather before the season changes,” said Zan Sabini, PB concerts co-chair. “It’s a little loud (in the Smith Center) and a little difficult to hear.”

The day boasted live music, food, give-away prizes and amusements such as an air-inflated tumble chamber, a bull riding machine and several carnival stands. Rock artist Andrew WK headlined the concert portion of the show, and the Bicycle Thieves, Rahzel and Gavin DeGraw each played full sets.

PB leaders said they originally considered some larger rap acts to fill the approximately $40,000 budget for Fall Fest, but decided to bring in several smaller acts to appeal to different musical tastes.

“A lot of people in the past complained that when we have rap, we didn’t have rock, and when we have rock, we didn’t have rap,” Reiling said. “We were hoping to put both rock and rap on the same stage.”

Sabini said PB understood it did not bring a “main headliner” with Andrew WK, but did so on purpose so students would focus on the event as a whole.

At one-act events, students tend to show up only when that act is
performing, and therefore miss out on the chance to enjoy other amusements, she said.

“We wanted a random line-up of groups so it would create a steady flow of people,” Sabini said.

Andrew WK’s fans jumped up and down to his loud music, and said they really enjoyed the concert. The artist jumped into the crowd during his performance.

“(Andrew WK) is an artist that loves to get involved… he loves to have fans surrounded by him,” Sabini said.

She said PB talked with Smith Center officials, University Police and Andrew WK and his crew and got everything “OK’d” prior to the event.

Rapper Rahzel boasted the largest crowd, while DeGraw had the smallest.

Performers, however, said they did not mind being indoors.

“Being inside gives you more of a stadium feel,” DeGraw told The Hatchet. “Even if (the Smith Center) isn’t full, I’m just happy to get out and play.”

Some students at the event said, aside from the high volume of the music, they did not mind the change in location.

“It’s nice inside because you can see what’s going on better,” sophomore Maggie Dempsey said.
-Julie Gordon contributed to this report.

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