The Student Activities Council has seemed to struggle in appealing to the student population with its concerts for the past few years, but with fresh ideas, this year may be different.
Not only is SAC hosting a music festival, Vibin’ in the ‘Ville, but it is trying to provide several different music acts from different genres, and it has offered a beer garden to accompany the festival.
Featuring a beer garden at the fall music festival is a respectable effort to meet the wants of the student body. It will bring in upperclassmen, it adds additional enthusiasm and it represents the image of a music festival well.
This is also a great opportunity for SAC to bring in members of the community. It is easy for community members to see campus events as just campus events, but labeling Vibin’ in the ‘Ville as a music festival and treating it like an actual music festival by offering alcohol will definitely attract those outside of campus.
For risk management reasons, the beer garden will be on the opposite side of the stage, away from where the local artists will be performing. Drinks cannot leave the designated, gated-off area of the beer garden and consumers have to finish their drink before returning to the actual music portion of the music festival.
The concern is that students will see this music festival as a drinking opportunity instead of an opportunity to hear and see local musicians. To the extreme, this could result in more students at the beer garden than watching the artists perform, defeating the point of paying live artists to perform.
The same policies will be in place as alcohol at the Bearcat Zone on game days. According to the Alcohol on University Property and Policy Procedure: “Individuals, organizations and other entities should follow all federal, state and local laws and regulations – as well as University policies, procedures and guidelines – pertaining to the use, serving, sale and distribution of alcohol at all times.
“The University does not permit or condone the consumption, possession or distribution of alcoholic beverages by or to any individual under the age of 21 under any circumstance. Official identification may be required to verify that an individual consuming or possessing alcohol on University property is of legal age for doing so.”
So expect this to be a typical bar set up. You can’t leave the bar with alcohol. There will plenty of room to roam around within the beer garden. It’s a liability thing, and SAC is taking the right measures to ensure all Bearcats have a safe time at the music festival.
This is a lot of pressure on SAC. If this goes poorly or students abuse this opportunity, there will most likely never be a beer garden again. However, seeing as how this is an opportunity students have not had before with Northwest being a dry campus, it is safe to say the Bearcats know to follow the rules to ensure we will have this opportunity again in the future.