A little more than a month ago, the biggest surprise of the year at Mercyhurst was exposed.
The headlining band for Spring Fest, Plain White T’s, was unceremoniously announced when a student fan of the band found Mercyhurst listed on the band’s website.
Now, with just over a week until the big event, Student Activities Council(SAC) said that despite the unexpected early announcement, it still has many surprises up its sleeves.
“Students were talking about them before we were even talking about it, which made us excited,” said senior Char Lichtinger, the outgoing SAC Chair and major organizer of the event.
“In the past, most students have said they want a bigger Spring Fest, so I think this year we’re giving them that.”
Working from student suggestions, SAC has a total of five bands that will fill the Mercyhurst Athletic Center (MAC) on Friday, May 6, the opening night of Spring Fest. The list includes Plain White T’s, Andy Grammar and Parachute.
All the contracts have been signed, and SAC is prepared to make the formal band announcement Wednesday night at 8:15 p.m. at the Launch Party in the Hermann Student Union. SAC is also bringing in local band Romantic Era as well as You Hang Up, featuring Frankie Muniz.
“No matter what, people will find something,” Lichtinger said. “They’ll find one band that they like.”
While students asked for bigger, many students cited concerns about five bands being too many, worrying about waiting too long for the headliner.
“It’ll be good to get some variety up on stage,” senior Joe Krajcik said. “I can’t complain that it will be a longer concert. Hopefully everyone can enjoy at least one of the performers.”
“We’re trying very hard to make sure that the turnover for bands is quick; that is our main concern,” Lichtinger said. “There will be plenty of giveaways and things going on in between to get students excited and involved.”
To compensate for the large number of bands, SAC will be starting the show an hour earlier this year, opening the doors at 6 p.m. and starting the show at 7 p.m. They’d like it to close around 11 p.m., according to SAC adviser Sarah Allen.
“We’re not going to have the show last until 2 a.m.,” Allen said.
The two-day event will continue Saturday in the MAC. The theme for the day’s events will be Laker Luau, including a luau dancer performance, popcorn, cotton candy, Rita’s Italian Ice, a chocolate fountain with fruit and the annual Spring Fest BBQ held in Egan Cafeteria.
“Students who have an unlimited meal plan will be able to eat in Egan normally on that day,” Lichtinger said. “All other students will have to get a ticket on the day of the event in the MAC to get the free meal.”
SAC again responded to students’ opinions regarding activities.
“We’ve heard from people that they do not like inflatables, so we’ve tried to steer clear of inflatables and go towards novelties, which are the things that people can walk away with,” Lichtinger said.
SAC will bring back the caricature artist who was at both ‘Hurst Fest and Kids ‘N’ Sibs, a cash cube with $500 that students can win throughout the day, a high striker, a tropical obstacle course, arts, crafts and more.
Tickets are available to undergraduate students in the Student Union until Tuesday, May 3, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. On May 4, tickets will be available to graduate students, faculty and staff, and on May 5 students can pick up guest tickets— one per ID.
“We have to keep in mind that the concert is being paid for by the Full-time Student Allotment fund, which is paid through your student activities fee,” Allen said. “So opening it up and allowing as many current students to attend as possible is the only way we feel that is an appropriate way to spend students’ money.”
“I think that the selection of bands for Spring Fest is great. There is something for everyone and the variety is sure to please all music critics. As a freshman, I have only heard good things about Spring Fest and am sure that it is going to be lots of fun,” freshman Katie Jeffries said.
Tickets are available first-come, first-serve, with 1,500 available. More ticket information is available at msg.mercyhurst.edu.
This evening, students can get a taste of what’s to come at the Spring Fest Launch Party, as Romantic Era will perform in the Student Union while SAC makes its formal announcement of the weekend’s activities.