After months of preparation, Spring Fling is now only days away.
The event, organized by the Yale College Council, will be held this Sunday at the conclusion of the University’s second tercentennial weekend. Students, alumni and New Haveners will be allowed on Old Campus to enjoy student bands, inflatable rides and the day’s main act, Ben Harper and the Innocent Criminals. Even though YCC and University administrators have touted this year’s Spring Fling as exceptional because of an unusually large budget and the novelty of the tercentennial weekend, several YCC presidential candidates are already calling for improvements for next year’s event.
Yale’s tercentennial committee will be providing 2,000 T-shirts free of charge in celebration of the event, YCC Treasurer Vidhya Prabhakaran ’03 said. The shirts, which the committee agreed to supply only recently, depict students dancing around Harkness Tower.
Spring Fling Chair Joey Lee ’03 said the YCC will pass some shirts out around 11:30 a.m., when the inflatable rides are set up, and around 4 p.m., when students will likely begin pouring in for Harper’s 5 p.m. concert.
Harper’s band will play an hour-and-a-half set, longer than past Spring Fling performers have played, because an opening band is not accompanying the group. The band will likely play a number of songs from its latest CD, “Live from Mars,” which was released March 27.
The YCC devoted the bulk of its just over $90,000 in Spring Fling funds to Harper’s band and to renting a covered stage, in case there is rain. Because it rained at last year’s Spring Fling, marquee act Wyclef Jean played earlier than was expected.
Four student bands will play in the afternoon on a separate stage, which will not be covered, and rides and Yale Dining Services food will be available early in the day.
Attendees will be checked for alcohol at Old Campus gates but will not have to show Yale IDs so that alumni visiting for the Tercentennial can stay on for the concert. New Haven residents are also welcome to attend, though the YCC is not advertising the concert to the community, Prabhakaran said.
This year’s event is being funded by the YCC, Yale President Richard Levin’s office, local merchants and student groups. The total — just over $90,000 — is more than the YCC usually spends on the event because the President’s office gave more money than usual in celebration of the tercentennial. Next year, the Spring Fling budget will likely be less, Prabhakaran said. In past years the event has cost about $45,000.
One of the major costs is the covered stage, for which Prabhakaran said he hopes the administration will continue to pay in future years.
With YCC officer elections underway Monday, nearly every candidate for YCC president is listing an improved Spring Fling as a main priority.
Prabhakaran said he wants to pursue full-scale corporate sponsorship, while Robbie Wilkins ’03 said he wants to enlarge the event to span an entire weekend. Andrew Allison ’04 said the event should be planned earlier, and Jack Snyder ’03 said the event should be planned by a section of the YCC devoted specifically to planning social events.
But for now, Lee said the focus is on Sunday’s event.
“I’m just praying for good weather,” she said.