SA e-board should eliminate one of the annual music festivals

Money saved could be used toward bigger act for one fest, more frequent small events

The Student Association’s annual Fall and Spring Fests are costly, and the price will likely only increase as the music industry becomes more expensive. The incoming SA e-board should consider cutting one of the fests.

This year’s Spring Fest cost $400,000 for both talent and production, according to SA Entertainment Coordinator Marc Rosenblitt. Fall and Spring Fests are funded by the undergraduate student activity fee of $104.75 per semester.

Next year SA will hold a referendum, that gives students the opportunity to vote on whether the student activity fee should increase, so it is an especially crucial time to think critically about how SA spends our student activity money.

If SA cuts down the number of musical festivals from two to one, then the organization could potentially afford to bring one big act versus two smaller acts. Students often express disappointment over the acts SA selects, and this could give SA the opportunity to bring in more popular artists.

We understand that at least initially, students may be very resistant to cutting one of the fests –– one Spectrumeditor strongly opposes cutting one of the events because he believes Fall and Spring Fests give students something to look forward to each semester.

Cutting one of the fests not only gives SA the ability to host one bigger, better festival, but also could provide more funding for other, smaller events throughout the year. UB is a notoriously disconnected campus. Given that the majority of students commute, it can be difficult to build a sense of community.

Events like Buffalo Untapped are perennial favorites among UB students. Periodic events can help break up the monotony of long semesters and give students a chance to connect with peers. Bringing in exciting activities with food trucks and live music is exactly the type of events that could get students excited about their school, foster a sense of community and raise UB pride.

The Center for the Arts also offers concerts throughout the year, and sometimes books big acts. If SA eliminates one of the fests, some of the money could be used towards reserving a block of free tickets to some of these events for undergraduate students.

The Spectrum editors are divided on which fest would be better to keep. Most feel keeping Spring Fest makes sense as a last hoorah and celebration of the end of the year. Others feel the timing of Spring Fest is poor given that the end of the spring semester is the busiest time of year, and students are worried about final exams and term papers.

Those in favor of just keeping Fall Fest say they prefer having an event to kick off the year. And the odds of having a festival outside are generally better in September than in April or May, when it is still snowing sometimes and often very cold. Given the success of last fall’s outdoor festival, it makes sense to try to schedule the event at a time when there is a higher likelihood it can be outside.

Eliminating either Fall or Spring Fest may not be a popular decision at first, and we understand that no one wants to be the e-board to cut a fest. But we hope the 2018-19 e-board will at least consider the benefits of consolidating to just one fest.