This year's Spring Fling may be called the "Wild Fling," but organizers will need to have some tricks up their sleeves if they hope to make it as wild as the annual April event used to be, according to seniors. "It used to be a complete zoo," recalled College senior Mike Feinberg. "It was excellent." When the current seniors were freshmen, the spring fete was a very different experience than it is now. The combination of strict alcohol policies and administrators' fear of structural damage to the Quadrangle turned the three-day party into two-days and forced the headline concert out of the freshman dormitory after the 1988 Fling. That year, carousing crowds caused between $30,000 and $70,000 in damage to the buildings, according to Vice Provost for University Life Kim Morrisson. "These traditions are important, but they're fragile," she said. That year, the headline act was blues guitarist Bo Diddley. Like last year's Fling, rain plagued the weekend, and students said while they did not mind the downpour, Diddley was not as amenable, and consequently did not perform. "He just refused to do anything," said Sue Moss, a College and Wharton senior. "They offered to set him up in Irvine and he just sat there." Rain has been a consistent feature of the past three Flings, giving current seniors one last chance, this year, to have some sun during the weekend. "I've never had a real sunny Fling," Moss said. "The upperclassmen [three years ago] said our freshman year was the worst Fling they'd ever had." Several seniors agreed that good weather is one of the most important elements for a successful Fling. "If it's sunny and warm, it's going to be a good Spring Fling," Feinberg said. "If there's good weather, everyone's going to have a blast." This year's concert featuring the Indigo Girls will be held outside, and College senior and Fling co-director Rob Cohen said the weekend's 'wild' theme was an important factor in bringing it back outside. "The atmosphere differs greatly between an indoor show and an outdoor show," he said. "We're taking a bit of a risk by having it outside, but the benefits far outweighs those risks." Typically alcohol plays a role in the festivities, and since the administration has taken measures to curtail underage drinking, students have found new ways to swill their favorite spirits. "In general, I remember in the past couple years people being more secretive" about alcohol, Feinberg said. "There was [in previous years] a lot more open alcohol," Moss agreed. "We were more blatant about it." Alcohol has not been allowed in the Quad for the past several years and this year is no exception. Cohen said University Police will be in force at both the day-time events at the Quad and the evening events. The annual airband show, which in recent years has been held in Irvine Auditorium, used to draw large crowds to the Quad on Saturday nights. This year the lip-synchers will take the stage at Hill Field, just before a laser-light show on Saturday. "Airbands used to be a lot bigger than they were last year," Feinberg said. "They used to fill Irvine." Two years ago, Paul Schaffer and the World's Most Dangerous Band from Late Night with David Letterman performed in the Class of 1923 Ice Rink. "No one really went to see Paul Schaffer," Feinberg said. "It was a joke." "The acoustics are just beyond bad in the ice rink," Moss agreed, saying that Schaffer and his band "were terrible." While having this year's concert outside at Hill Field may recall the atmosphere of past Flings, seniors said administrators should do more to help Fling. "I think the administration should make a financial commitment to Fling," Moss said. "Fling is one of the trademarks of an undergraduate career. An investment in Fling will result in stronger support for the University later."Comments powered by Disqus
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