Have you ever imagined a world where the Spring Fling concert wasn’t free? Well, for around $10, now you don’t have to.

The fate of our Spring Fling has been signed, sealed and delivered. While we applaud the decision to hold the daytime festivities on the Peace Quad and its surrounding areas, we’re less than thrilled about the concert’s move to the Events Center, not to mention the ticket fee.

How did it come to this? Let’s retrace the Student Assocation’s steps.

First, construction down the Spine forced the SA to relocate both daytime Spring Fling festivities — rides, booths, smaller stages, food and other things of the sort — and the evening concert, usually held in front of the Student Wing and free of charge. After a few weeks of considering various campus locations — paid lots in front of Mountainview College and the Events Center parking lot among them — the SA landed on the Peace Quad for the daytime carnival and the Events Center for the concert.

Historically, this concert has been free. It was a treat of sorts — we came to expect that SA would bring in a second-rate act, at least relative to the headlining act of the semester (see 2009: Jon Stewart vs. Eve 6) and the absence of a price tag would alleviate any disappointment with the performance.

Though, with that said, the last few years have still seen some pretty exciting acts grace our Spring Fling.

The Spring Fling concert was a right, not a privilege. We had made it to the end of the semester and as a collective student body, we were rewarded with a free, outdoor concert. And the setting was always perfect. With the weather warmed up, the sun setting behind the Academic buildings and hordes of students lining the Spine from the Student Wing to the Library Tower, you couldn’t ask for a better atmosphere.

Packing us all into a dark, hot space for the capstone event of a festival that celebrates the spring season is an unfortunate alternative. We understand the Events Center charges a pretty penny, and that the SA didn’t want to charge students, but this scenario seriously undercuts the idea of what the Spring Fling concert is supposed to be. Why can’t the Events Center waive the fees once? And if the fees are entirely necessary, why can’t the University shell out the cheese to the SA to keep the concert free?

Construction projects (paid for by tax dollars, $3.7 million for the Central Campus Quad Project) forced a concert (partially funded by our student activity fee, $92.50 a semester) into an arena (partially funded by our intercollegiate athletic fee, $234 a semester) that almost no one wants to be in. And now it’s going to cost us money at the door. And we genuinely believe the SA is not to blame for this at all.

Now, it isn’t all bad. The SA deserves credit for making the Peace Quad the epicenter of Spring Fling’s daytime festivities. It’s centrally located, there’s enough lush greenery to remind us that it is spring after all and transit in and out of campus shouldn’t be too obstructed.

But when the sun sets on May 5, and we’re forced to fork over a Hamilton to pack ourselves into the Events Center, we’ll be left yearning for the outdoor Spring Fling concerts of yore.