The Plain White T’s to headline Fall Fest 2018

A look into the organization and planning behind the event

Silvia Buonocore, Contributing Writer

The Campus Activities and Programs (CAP) Center is gearing up for its annual Fall Fest, which will take place on Sept. 14 from 5-10 p.m. on Sojka Lawn (rain location: Gerhard Fieldhouse) with a performance by the Plain White T’s. This year’s Fall Fest will include many fun treats such as nacho tots, corn dogs, and beer for those over 21. Favorite attractions from previous Fall Fests such as the Ferris wheel will make an appearance, as well as newer attractions such as a rock climbing wall, the Gravitron ride, and animals from Clyde Peeling’s Reptiland.

The Plain White T’s are best known for their hit song “Hey There Delilah,” which topped the Billboard 100 Chart in 2007. The band’s five members officially formed the Plain White T’s in 1997 and started out doing local gigs in Illinois. Since then, they have released eight albums, including their most recent, Parallel Universe, which was released in 2018.

Large amounts of planning and organization have gone into the event and into the selection of the band. The Plain White T’s had been an option in the past and was a top choice in previous surveys. However, it was only this year that the logistics made their headlining of Fall Fest a possibility. “Early this summer, we got a call that the Plain White T’s were an option, and talked to some student groups. When we mentioned the band, everyone was very excited. After receiving the overwhelming positive response and past historical data, it was a no brainer for us to select them for this year’s Fall Fest,” Mike Duignan, director of Campus Activities & Student Organizations, said.

Other logistics included determining the event’s budget, food, atmosphere, and giveaways. All of these decisions were made over the summer, as the event planning began in June.

“I always had a love of event planning, so the opportunity to plan one of the biggest events on campus was too good to pass up! This event has evolved over the years; when I first joined the committee there were 30 people in five different groups but we changed to two team leaders in charge of 10 people each. The easiest part is brainstorming ideas for the awesome inflatables/rides and foods but the hardest part is planning rain contingency.,” Jackie Zaybekian ’19, the logistics chair who has been involved in Fall Fest for the past three years, said.

Those involved in the planning and commitment of this year’s Fall Fest, from the CAP center to student organizers, are currently feeling very optimistic about the upcoming event. “This is one of the best opportunities a first-year can make in engaging in their new community, as many of them did planning before they ever set foot on campus. Plus, not to mention all countless departments who put time, hours and resources in assisting in the planning. In the end, it really does take a village to put on something such as Fall Fest. The hope is that it moves seamlessly throughout the night to create the perfect student experiences,” Duignan said.

There has also been much attention to marketing for the event in hopes of attendance by the whole student body. There is a Fall Fest Instagram account that has been revealing all of the new and fun features. The marketing committee chair, Julia Knox ’21, wants to highlight that “besides the typical posters, floor decals and chalk talk, we introduced a new and exciting marketing idea this year: a raffle to meet the headlining band! We’re passing out little flyers that have a number on them and you and a friend can meet the band if your number gets called!

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