SpringFest concert sees increase in attendance

Budget plan of $17,000 lowered to $500 by UA

Despite the rejection of its budget plan by the Undergraduate Association, the UA Events Committee held its annual SpringFEST, organizing events throughout last week leading up to Saturday’s concert.

Headlined by rapper Lupe Fiasco and Boston-based band Bad Rabbits, the concert managed to draw about 1,450 attendees, an increase from last year.

The UA Events Committee had initially requested a budget of around $17,000 for SpringFEST weekend, which was presented twice to the UA council and rejected both times despite adjustments made according to the council’s feedback. Ultimately, the UA only approved $500, which was allocated to buying Ben & Jerry’s ice cream.

The rejected $17,000 budget was supposed to fund a dessert night hosted by Max Brenner and other Boston restaurants, a sushi study break held in collaboration with other MIT clubs, and a BurgerFEST event with The Asgard and other restaurants featuring free appetizers before the SpringFEST concert. Under the original budget plan, the UA Events Committee would have also hosted a SpringFEST afterparty and a larger SpringFESTival event on Saturday afternoon with more food trucks and free tanks tops.

On Thursday and Friday, festivities consisted of an Israeli Independence Day Carnival with live camels and Israeli music, a dessert night at the Finale bakery, a Palestinian Nakba Memorial, and an improvisational comedy event featuring Roadkill Buffet and the Upright Citizen’s Brigade, whose members have included such notable comedians as Amy Poehler, Aziz Ansari, and Kate McKinnon.

On Saturday afternoon, Zinneken’s and Ben & Jerry’s food trucks offered free waffles and ice cream at Kresge, and Dormcon hosted a carnival on the McCormick Lawn. The SpringFEST concert was held later that night from 8 to 11 p.m. at the Zesiger Center.

In an email to The Tech, UA Events Chairs Raichelle Aniceto ’16 and Divya Shanmugam ’17 emphasized the attendance success of the capstone concert event with Lupe Fiasco and further encouraged the idea of SpringFEST as a week-long campus-wide celebration, rather than just a concert.

“We found success in showcasing other student groups and organizations and creating a week of events that students of different [interests] could enjoy,” Aniceto and Shanmugam wrote. “[We] hope that UA Council will provide support for next year so that we can create SpringFEST16 as an even greater set of week-long events.”

Colleges in the greater Boston area also celebrated their respective spring festival events this weekend with varying prices of admission. At Harvard, pop artist Jessie J performed at ‘Yardfest,’ where students had free entry with a valid Harvard ID. At Tufts University’s ‘Spring Fling,’ Kesha headlined the event and Tufts students were each allotted one free ticket. Kesha also performed at the University of Pennsylvania’s “Spring Fling,” although students were charged $45 for general admission. The price for MIT’s SpringFEST concert event was $15 for student and $20 for the general community before Saturday and $30 at the door for both the MIT community and the public.