A soggy Fountain Day on the Mount Vernon Campus forced a Saturday performance by guitar player and singer Howie Day to be held indoors before a smaller-than-expected crowd.
The event, held annually to celebrate the end of the semester as well as the turning on of the Mount Vernon fountain, was expected to draw more than 1,000 students. On Saturday morning it became apparent that the concert could not be held outside.
“There was a 70 percent chance of thunderstorms this afternoon, and with a large electrical generator we couldn’t chance that,” said Fred Siegel, dean of freshmen and administrator of the campus.
Though the storms never materialized, those who took part in the indoor activities seemed positive despite the dreary weather. Freshman Johanna Scheu said, “I thought (the rain) would kill the day, but it still seems good.”
Free food was served in the Mount Vernon Pub, and at one point the line stretched out the door. In addition to free food, there were carnival games offering students raffle tickets for prizes.
The main event was Day, along with opening act Tristan Prettyman. Prettyman came on stage to a Lloyd Gym crowd made up of students sitting on the floor.
“I’ve never played to a sitting crowd before,” Prettyman said. “It’s like my dream audience.”
Freshman Maegan Greenberg said she enjoyed Prettyman, whose set lasted about 45 minutes.
“She sounded like a female Jack Johnson,” Greenberg said.
After Prettyman’s show, Day was supposed to play at 6:30 p.m. When his show started 27 minutes late, the Lloyd Gym, capable of holding 700 people, was only at about one-third capacity.
Despite a small turnout, some hardcore fans excitedly anticipated the singer’s show.
“I love Howie Day,” Greenberg said. “I know he’s coming at 6:30, and I have to study for finals, but this is what you do for love.”
Although plagued by some technical problems, the show featured Day creating his own musical loops onstage to provide the sound of a larger group. The biggest hit of the evening was his song “Collide,” which sits at No. 40 on the Billboard Hot 100 music charts.
Ariz Matute, a sophomore in charge of coordinating the event, said that getting Day to appear made sense.
“People talk about who they want to see … Howie Day fit,” Matute said.
After the show, many students rushed to exit, leaving only half of the already small crowd to hear Day’s encore.
The Mount Vernon Programming Council, Mount Vernon Campus Life, Program Board, Class Council and Student Activities Center sponsored the event. Though Fountain Day has been held in the past, this was the first time the groups worked together to bring a big name act to Mount Vernon.
Siegel said, “I hope a tradition is established today.”