EDITORIAL: CAT builds a better NovaFest

Just before finals, Villanova students have one final chance to let loose at NovaFest. One of the highlights of the weekend is the concert held on Saturday. We can’t help but notice that this year’s upcoming concert has been the subject of a lot of students’ negative opinions. From complaints about the band selection, to comments about the change of concert time, some Villanova students are unhappy, and most don’t understand enough about the NovaFest process.

The Campus Activities Team plans NovaFest every year and must work within a limited budget. The school actually allotted less money to pay for a band than it has in previous years, partially due to the economic troubles and partially due to the fact that last year’s concert was poorly attended. CAT lost money off of last year’s act due to poor ticket sales from the concert featuring Brand New and Sean Kingston-widely considered a poor concert chcoice. This year, they didn’t want to risk booking a high-priced act that no one would go to see.

One of the many complaints has been that our featured act, Gym Class Heroes, was the opening act for Ludacris at Penn’s Spring Fling last year. Penn, in addition to having more students, has its concert in their football stadium, a much larger venue, where they are able to maximize their revenue by selling more tickets. Villanova doesn’t have a comparably sized space where it can hold the concert.

Students also forget that NovaFest is a student-run event. A few students are in charge of contacting and booking a band; that’s practically a full-time job. The responsibilities are huge, but the budget is not, making their jobs that much harder.

CAT also decided to move the concert time up to 5 p.m. instead of the usual Saturday night event. The time change makes it possible for students to participate in a string of activities, instead of having a break in the middle of the day before heading back out to the concert.

This move will likely increase concert attendance, especially because people will already be in large groups of friends, and it will bring excitement back to this event that has had dwindling attendance over the past few years.

It seems like another goal was to curtail drinking before the concert, an activity that not only hurts attendance – students weren’t motivated to trek over to the Pavilion – but also makes NovaFest unpopular with some school officials.

Because the concert will fill the void in the middle of the day, students may hold off drinking (few are likely to forego altogether – this is NovaFest, the biggest weekend of the year) and participate in more school-sanctioned activities that weekend.

CAT isn’t perfect, but they deserve some respect from students for their work planning NovaFest, which we all enjoy. They responded to student feedback by moving the concert earlier in the afternoon, and the changes should make a great weekend even better.