USI SpringFest won’t have a huge concert at the Ford Center this year, and it’s got me a bit disappointed.
Large musical acts have always been a staple of the annual event, but as the reins get pulled back this year, I have to wonder if the days of Smash Mouth and O.A.R. are behind us.
Most freshmen won’t recall, but SpringFest used to close out the week’s festivities with a huge concert, and it’s grown every year since its inception.
In 2014 it returned larger than ever from a year-long hiatus, collaborating with University of Evansville and hosting Smash Mouth at the Ford Center. This was followed by O.A.R. in 201 at the Ford Center.
We’ve seen successively bigger and more prominent performers play for us, so I was caught off guard to learn that they would be replaced with something else this year.
Between the bouncy castles, dueling pianos and ziplines, this event has always been for the students, a way to offer a break from studying. Personally, I’ve always had classes back-to-back and work immediately after, so the concert afterparty has always been the only thing I could actually attend.
For the many students in my situation, to know that the one thing we can actually experience has been altered or removed entirely is disheartening, and it must be the same for new students who never got to experience it before it went away.
This year’s afterparty will have an outdoor rave and a team of DJs. It’s a simple way to give students great music and save money while doing it, but what if this is the start of a trend and next year’s events get downsized further?
I don’t doubt SpringFest 2016 will be fun. There are still going to be performing artists on campus, though not on the scale of previous years.
If February’s Stupid Cupid dance is any indication, USI can throw a good party, so the rave should be pretty good, too.
However, SpringFest is my favorite time of the school year, and now that cost is a real factor, it’s hard not to consider its future.