Location of SpringFest 2016 remains cloudy

SpringFest 2015 will be the last one ever held on the Chittenden Buckham Wills green, and a replacement location has yet to be determined.

Due to the upcoming demolition of the “shoeboxes,” construction of new dorms behind the library and the expansion of the medical center, the location of SpringFest 2016 will have to change.

Senior Katherine Ashmore said she thinks SpringFest should relocate to the Davis Center green because of its central location. “I feel like people are less likely to go if it is at the Sheraton since they can’t walk over,” Ashmore said.  “They would have to plan ahead, so attendance would probably go down.”

Queena Hoang, assistant director of campus programs for Student Life said one likely option is in a parking lot behind the Sheraton Hotel. “It’s a nice open space there,” Hoang said. “We’ve talked about a few different locations, but none of them are ideal,” she said.

There would also be the challenge of getting students to the event, which would most likely have to be done by shuttle and would cost extra money, Hoang said. “Another possibility that I am not too excited about would be the Bailey/Howe and Davis Center green,” she said. “It would be really hard to block off things, so I am not really sure yet.”

UVM’s Program Board is still discussing additional location options such as an athletic field turf. One thing’s for sure: they want it to be outside.

“We’re always trying to push for it to be an outdoor space just because it provides more of an opportunity for more people to attend,” Hoang said. “A gym show is very difficult in terms of capacity, the sound is not as great and the gym is not the best place to have the shows.”

The potential new location also faces restrictions based on space and proximity to city residents because of the noise a concert produces, she said. “A lot of times that’s why the redstone green is out of the equation,” Hoang said. “There are so many neighbors in that area that would probably complain.”

No matter where SpringFest 2016 is held, the goal is to maintain the 4,500 student capacity, as well as offerings such as the beer garden, food trucks and water dispensers, she said. “The goal is to keep it as consistent with what we’ve been able to provide the students,” Hoang said.