This year’s Spring Fling concert will be held in Binghamton University’s Events Center, and may include a ticket price for students. Over the 12-year history of Spring Fling, the headlining concert has traditionally been a free, outdoor show.
This year’s concert has been moved because campus construction projects have left no outdoor space that could withstand the electrical demand of the concert while remaining safe for students, according to Catherine Cornell, Student Association vice president for programming.
“The concert’s definitely going to be in the Events Center,” Cornell told Pipe Dream.
In recent years, the concert’s stage was assembled west of the Student Services Wing near the Lecture Hall, with a crowd that flows back along the Spine toward the New University Union. With local construction, it will be impossible to host Spring Fling at this location.
“It would be way too dangerous to have that many students anywhere else on campus,” she said, indicating that the usual location of the concert was both safe and, by using electricity from surrounding buildings, could host a large show.
Cornell said that the added costs for the SA’s use of the Events Center, which does not collect a general rental charge, but has specific fees for use of its individual facilities, may be pushed down on students.
“It’s a small possibility,” she said, when asked whether the Events Center venue would necessitate a fee. “But I can’t really say yet because it’s out of my hands.”
Cornell said the Student Association Programming Board is discussing plans with University administrators “to work something out” and avoid the need to charge an entrance fee for the Spring Fling concert.
She remains upbeat about the show, even with the indoor venue and risk of ticketed entry.
“I’m happy with it,” Cornell said. “Once students find out who the act is, it’s definitely going to bring a different atmosphere and please a lot of people.”
The SAPB has narrowed in on which act will headline the Events Center show, but will not be able to officially announce the billing for several weeks, according to Cornell.
To choose the acts for Spring Fling, the SAPB looks at both current student feedback and response to past performances, according to Adam Sebag, SAPB concert chair and a junior majoring in biology. He said there was a large increase in participation in the survey sent out to students listing possible performers.
“It’s a tough job because a lot of people don’t realize how long it takes to do something like this,” Sebag said. “We understand a lot of students might be sick of some rap artists, and we know electronic is very big, but we try to appeal to as many students as we can.”
RIDES MOVING TOO
The headlining concert is not the only aspect of Spring Fling that construction has shaken up.
The rides, carnival booths, food stands and student group tables that make up the day-time portion of the annual event are moving to one of three campus locations.
Cornell said the SAPB hopes to center the entirety of Spring Fling around the Peace Quad, but is also considering the Events Center’s parking lot, as well a location stretching from the Visitor’s Paid Parking Lot (Lot W) to the lot by Mohawk Hall (Lot Q) in College-in-the-Woods, using the length of the Brain in between.
Cornell said the Peace Quad is the SA’s ideal choice.
“It’s a nice culmination if you think about it,” Cornell said. “As a freshman, University Fest is your first experience on campus, so it’d be much nicer having Spring Fling as a senior on the Peace Quad. It’d be a nice good-bye [for seniors].”
One drawback of having the event on the Peace Quad is the aesthetic impact it would have on the campus.
“Spring Fling has never been on the Peace Quad before because a large number of people on it would destroy the grass, and it’s right before graduation,” said Jen Keegan, associate director for campus activities. “It would be tough to have it looking nice in time for the ceremonies.”
The Events Center parking lot would be a solution for this issue because of its level black-top surface, but using the facilities would further add to the cost of putting on Spring Fling, according to Cornell.
“We’d have to pay to have it there, and it’s really far removed from bus stops and campus housing, which could take away from the experience of having the ‘on-campus spirit,’” Cornell said.
Using the Paid Lot-Mohawk area is the SA’s least favorite possible location, because there is not enough room for the rides that the SA has booked, according to Cornell.
Though the location is central to campus and in close proximity to Spring Fling’s former home on the Brain, Cornell pointed out that buses would have to be rerouted to different parts of campus.
Ultimately, the decision regarding the event’s location is out of the SA’s hands.
The SA writes proposals for each possible location outlining the pros and cons of each venue, before submitting them to the Events Coordinating Committee, which is composed of representatives from across campus, including Campus and Event Services, Student Affairs and Physical Facilities.
Keegan serves as a liaison between the SA and various other divisions involved in the event planning.
“I’m like the wedding planner on campus,” Keegan said.
Keegan has already completed the necessary paperwork and has placed ride requests. However, her primary concern is determining an ideal location for the event.
“It’s been a hard year on SAPB with the flood moving Pretty Lights, and it’s not going to be as easy to orchestrate as in the past,” Cornell said. “It’s a lot of pressure but we’re up for the challenge.”
Katie Chum, SAPB festivals chair and a junior majoring in marketing and management information systems, said the SAPB hopes to stay true to the spirit of the tradition.
“Our biggest goal is maintaining the integrity of Spring Fling and to keep it fun,” Chum said.
Spring Fling will be held on Saturday, May 5.
— Nate Fleming contributed to this report.