The Yale College Council has fallen behind in planning this year’s Spring Fling with eight weeks remaining before the annual rite is scheduled to be held on Old Campus.
Prolonged budgetary negotiations have delayed the planning process, YCC President Andrew Cedar ’06 said. Planning also has been delayed because the YCC researched the possibility of holding the event inside Ingalls Rink instead of its traditional location on Old Campus.
“We spent a lot of first semester making our case to the administration for more money this year,” Cedar said. “I think the increased funding will go a long way toward making students enjoy it more.”
The University raised the YCC’s Spring Fling budget to $95,000, a $20,000 jump from last year, when Third Eye Blind played, YCC Treasurer Andrew Schram ’06 said.
Cedar would not comment on the status of the YCC’s current band search and did not say whether the council has begun brainstorming potential artists. The YCC has yet to conduct a preliminary survey to determine student preferences for bands, a common procedure begun in mid-January in previous years.
The event is traditionally held at the end of April during reading week in the spring semester. Last year, the council had entered into negotiations with Third Eye Blind early in the spring term and by the end of February the YCC announced it had booked the band.
Austin Broussard ’05, who chaired Spring Fling last year, said the process of surveying students took two weeks, and once the band had been selected it took three to four weeks to negotiate with Third Eye Blind.
“We bicker back and forth on pricing,” Broussard said. “Whenever you negotiate with the band, you’re not only talking about the actual asking price; they also specify the type of stage they want, the equipment they need, and the accommodations that they want.”
Brown University has already announced two of several acts — Ben Folds and Talib Kweli — to perform at its Spring Weekend festival scheduled for late April. The Brown Concert Agency began bidding on bands before last semester and booked some of its headliners in early January, said John Chernin, a junior and member of the agency.
Chernin said booking artists could hypothetically take as little as one week, but securing a school’s first-choice artist requires working around that artist’s availability, which requires considerable planning.
But both Schram and Cedar said the YCC is not worried about running out of time to plan the event, although both declined to comment on how much the YCC has accomplished to date.
To limit rising costs, the YCC has considered holding Spring Fling in Ingalls Rink; by staging the event indoors, the YCC had hoped to charge an admissions fee of “two or three dollars,” Cedar said. But the venue is unable to cover the ice, and no other indoor venues are large enough.
The YCC’s need for more money comes from the rising cost of booking bands over the last two years, Schram said.
“The cost of talent has steadily gone up over the past several years to the point where Spring Fling would not have been possible without this funding,” he said.
The money came from Yale President Richard Levin and Yale College Dean Peter Salovey’s offices with the stipulation that equivalent funding may not be available to the YCC for next year’s show, Schram said. This is one of the reasons the YCC pushed so hard earlier this semester for student support of a student activities fee.
Salovey said the extra money for Spring Fling was not pulled from any other initiatives, but rather comes from a “discretionary fund.”
“The Dean’s Office and the President’s Office each have some discretionary funds, and we both used them to help with Spring Fling,” Salovey said.
Similar funding has been provided in the past and could be provided in the future, Salovey said, but he said any future grants likely would only serve to supplement the revenue generated by the student activities fee.
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