Saturday, February 24, 2018

Behind the scenes of this year’s Spring Weekend

MAGGIE ELIAS ’17

FEATURES EDITOR

After a wonderful Spring Weekend, I met with Griffin Hunt ’17, a member of Trinity College Barnyard Entertainment (TCBE) committee. This year, Hunt was the Chair of Design, and for Spring Weekend, he served as the Director of Artist Hospitality.

We met briefly to discuss TCBE’s hard work that went into the enjoyable weekend, their successes over the 2014-2015 academic year, and what the committee hopes to see in the future.

Margaret Anne Elias (MAE): How do you go about choosing an artist for Spring Weekend?

Griffin Hunt (GH): We start thinking about Spring Weekend and the artists in November and try to sign the artist through a third party booking agent shortly after Winter Break. We send out a survey to the student body to determine which genre people prefer, and we try our best to adhere to that. This year, the survey results told us people wanted EDM and Rap/Hip–Hop, and we were able to meet both requests by bringing both Kygo and Fashawn.

MAE: What is involved in the planning process of spring weekend?

GH: All of Barnyard’s subcommittees and several administrators (particularly Laura Whittemore, our faculty advisor) help to plan Spring Weekend — designing shirts, organizing security, booking vendors for the carnival, fabricating backstage passes, ensuring we meet contractual obligations, and dozens of other significant duties. While tons of planning goes into the months, weeks, and days before the concert, it all comes together in the hours leading up to Saturday’s concerts. Barnyard meets our production company at 8 a.m. on Saturday to hoist 500 pound cases of gear onto stage and assemble

production equipment and we set up the artists’ hospitality rooms, each with custom provisions as specified on their respective riders. Barnyard has a ton on its shoulders the day–of and its absolutely a labor of love; it’s a massive amount of work, but it unquestionably pays off when we see thousands of students on the LSC quad enjoying the music and making the most of the end of spring semester.

MAE: How can a student get involved in Barnyard? What are the different areas available?

GH: Students are invited to interview for a position at the beginning of both semesters through emailed invitations to the student body and a post on our official Facebook page (Trinity College Barnyard Entertainment). The President is the student–elected Programming Chair of SGA, while our two VPs are nominated and voted upon by Barnyard members. The rest of the committee is divided into four categories — design, outreach, decorations, and promotion — and each subcommittee appoints a chair.

MAE: What has been the most successful thing that Barnyard has done this year?

GH: It’s really hard to gauge what our most successful event has been, as our events range from simple sponsorships of athletic events (like Men’s Squash Nationals), to the hosting of the holiday dance in Vernon Social, to the organization of the enormous two–day campus festival that is Spring Weekend. Our budgets for these events vary widely, as does the number of attendees. That being said, this year’s Spring Weekend was absolutely unreal — we had hundreds of guests attend in addition to the thousand–plus Trinity students. Maybe I’m just a Kygo nerd, but I enjoyed Spring Weekend the most this year.

MAE: What was the biggest difficulty that the group came across?

GH: As with any sort of committee, delegating tasks and holding people accountable are the two primary difficulties we come across. That said, I’m so lucky to work with people who are passionate about the events we produce and who genuinely care about maintaining a positive campus climate.

MAE: What is the group atmosphere like? How do you guys all work together? Are you all close?

GH: Barnyard students come from different backgrounds and class years, and we all bring with us different experiences and ideas. On top of that, mostly everyone in Barnyard is involved with some other extracurricular, whether it be playing varsity tennis or working in the Writing Center. Because of this, we’re often able to collaborate with other campus organizations. Barnyard brainstorming sessions are this awesome melting pot of hilarious, absurd suggestions for events and we have to dial it back until we come up with something that’s realistic.

MAE: How do you hope to improve in the future?

GH: Internally, we hope to become more synchronized between the subcommittees and maintain open channels of dialogue about event ideas. In terms of events, we hope to continue building upon what has become a strong tradition of annual events with smaller, more accessible events sprinkled in between.

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