SpringFest receives a change in venue

Construction has forced SpringFest to relocate to a more concrete area of campus.


This year’s artist of choice, The Head and the Heart, will perform in the Jeffords Hall parking lot April 30. In years past, the concert has been held on the green outside the recently demolished Chittenden/Buckham/Wills residential complex.


Maddie White, student life coordinator for campus programs, said since construction had already been in the works, the search for a new venue began over a year ago.


Choosing a new location was more complex than people realize, White said.


“There is so much to consider when picking a location for a concert of this size,” she said, “from sound and crowd management, to whether or not we can physically get the stage in.”


The Jeffords lot was chosen from a “very narrow list of viable venues,” including off-campus locations, White said.


It was chosen for similar reasons the CBW Green was the prior site—its central location, spatial capacity and little impact on the surrounding community, she said.


“Despite being a parking lot, Jeffords gives SpringFest a beautiful backdrop with the Green Mountains and iconic UVM water tower,” White said.


Junior Tim Cece, a member of UVM Program Board, said the event reminds him of popular music festivals held in parking lots in his home state of New Jersey.


“I immediately thought of Bamboozle,” he said, “which is, year after year, huge.”


Cece said he thinks the Jeffords lot is the best option for the event given a lack of feasible green space, and doesn’t think it will negatively impact the evening.


“Hopefully we’ll be able to find a green space for future SpringFests,” he said. “Maybe we’ll discover that the Jeffords lot is perfect.”


Senior Sandy Halbing said she will attend as long as the show is outdoors.


“I feel like with the band being a pretty mellow group, it’d be a better experience to see them on the green,” she said, “but I would still rather it be outside in a lot than inside the gym.”


Halbing said she considers the Head and the Heart to be a “grass band,” but the sunset view from Jeffords will be a nice perk.


White said the concrete parking lot actually provides the planning committee with many benefits.


“There is a significantly smaller chance of the show being moved indoors due to weather,” she said, “since we don’t have to contend with soggy grounds that can make staging unsafe.”


White said the biggest challenge is the Jeffords lot’s high activity; setting up the event won’t take place over a few days, like it did when the event was on the CBW Green.


The majority of the set-up will take place Saturday morning, she said.
“We’re certainly going to miss the CBW Green,” White said, “but we think Jeffords is going to be a great new home for this UVM tradition.”