SpringFest ’04

UVM’s SpringFest 2004 took place last Saturday under clear sunny skies on a cool windy green in front of the Bailey-Howe Library. The winds were just a side note to performances by the psychedelic two-hour performance by Particle and the eclectic alternative 52 minute performance by Cake.

SpringFest, which was a nearly $85,000 expenditure, was mainly made possible through a donation by UVM President Daniel Fogel from his Presidential Discretionary Fund, Student Association Concerts Bureau, and UVM Student Government Association.

In 2003 SpringFest brought hip-hop groups The Roots and Blackalicious which ran up a $73,000 bill.

Expenses in ’04 included approximately $50,000 for both Cake and Particle to perform, $13,000 for Atomic Sound todo the sound for the bands, and $6,000 for non-UVM security. It was reported that by 3:30 that Saturday afternoon SpringFest was making a profit from the $10 entrance fee for students and $25 fee non-UVM students.

“Ten bucks for a show isn’t that much,” said Geoff Frazier from SA Concerts. “We get a lot of complaining about the ticket prices but people don’t realize how much everything really costs.”

In attendance was the 2004 UVM National Champion Women’s Gymnastic Club who, along with the men’s team, demonstrated some aerial acrobatics for awestruck onlookers. The Fencing Club was also doing demonstrations and allowed people to try on the equipment and take a few hacks on their friends. Local vendors such as Ali Baba’s, Ben and Jerry’s, and Sodexo served food and paid UVM for a spot on the library green during SpringFest.

Cake, a national act, made a name for themselves in the late 90’s with their monotone lyrics about relationships and automobiles over their distinctive trumpet and a guitar that sounds like it is played in a coffee can. Throughout the performance the band interacted with the audience by giving motivational speeches laced with dry humor and commenting on the frigid mid-April temperatures of Burlington.

Although Cake played for only 52 minutes, they managed to fit in some of their biggest hits such as “I Will Survive”, “Never There”, and “The Distance”.

SpringFest brought in students from all around including Middlebury and Penn State. Robb Conroy, a junior at Middlebury commented, “I drove 45 minutes for a $10 Cake show. That is a great deal on a really nice day out here.”

Penn State senior, Andrew Miller drove eight hours to visit friends but picked the specific SpringFest weekend because of the talent performing.

“Cake could have played for a full hour, but they were still pretty decent. Particle was great background music to walk around and see what was going on though. The two together were a good mix to appeal to everyone.”

SpringFest 2004 was seen as a success in may peoples’ eyes which can only lead to bigger and better things in years to come.

SGA President, Joe Thibault feels that spending the money to bring in big acts, good sound, security is a good way to build a solid reputation to bring in larger acts, and prove to bands and the public that UVM is not “just a stupid college gig.”