Counting Crows to headline final tercentennial weekend

Turning 300 years old is surely something to crow about, which is exactly what Yale plans to do in the finale of its year-long tercentennial celebration with a Counting Crows concert, laser light and fireworks show, leadership symposium and football game against Dartmouth College.

The Counting Crows, a popular, light-rock band, has verbally agreed to headline a student-geared concert Sunday evening, October 7, on Old Campus. The concert will mark the end of Yale’s third and final Tercentennial celebration from October 5-7, which will be telecast to Yale Clubs around the world.

“The focus of this weekend will be primarily on the current Yale community,” said Janet Lindner, head of the University’s Tercentennial Office. “I’m delighted that the students were able to get such a great group [to play].”

The Counting Crows will be kicking off their fall tour at Yale with an hour-and-a-half concert. The band will bring an opening act, which has not been selected yet.

Yale offered the band between $55,000 and $65,000 to perform, and is still waiting to receive the signed contract from the band, Yale College Council President Vidhya Prabhakaran ’03 said. The total cost of the concert, including security and stage equipment will be about $100,000. The University will cover the full cost.

“This is all out of Yale’s pocket,” Prabhakaran said. “It’s a tercentennial concert, but it was definitely the push of the YCC and the college council presidents. Without us pushing for it, it would not have happened.”

Lindner said the tercentennial office had always intended to do something nice for the students for the finale of the Tercentennial, and that she appreciated the YCC and college council’s ideas and help with this concert.

“Having the Crows during Tercentennial ensures that it will be a weekend specifically for the students,” YCC Treasurer Yael Zeira ’03 said. “The first was for the community, the second was for the alums- now it is our turn to celebrate.”

The concert, however, is just one piece of the final tercentennial weekend.

The weekend will begin with a leadership symposium Friday morning to examine how Yale is preparing its students to be leaders. The symposium, which will continue Saturday morning, will feature prominent professors, such as Gaddis Smith, Paul Kennedy and Robin Winks.

On Friday afternoon, there will be a processional of Yale students, faculty and administrators joined by administrators from dozens of major universities. That evening there will be a Battle of the Bands on the intramural fields followed by a show featuring lasers and fireworks.

The one-and-a-half hour show will be called “For God, For Country, and For Yale,” and will be free and open to the public. There will be a special Yale-student section. Several prominent Yale alumni have been invited to emcee the event, but none have committed to come yet.

The college council presidents and the YCC are planning Saturday’s events. Prabhakaran said there will most likely be mini-festivals in each residential college on that day.

And, in a departure from the norm, the Yale football game for that week will be Sunday afternoon instead of Saturday. The football game is against Dartmouth, and following the game, that night students will head to Old Campus for the Counting Crows concert.

Currently, the plans are that anyone affiliated with Yale is invited to the Old Campus concert, Prabhakaran said.

“It’s a Yale thing so it should be open to anyone with a Yale affiliation,” he said. “At the moment that includes parents and friends, students and workers.”

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