This Saturday, the newly re-christened Zonker Harris Day returns to WestCo as one of the best loved traditions of WesFest. Featuring Wesleyan acts Almonds & Elephants, Treasure Island, Miami Heat, and Marshmallow Overcoat (a band that covers The Band), as well as outside acts Oberhofer and Twin Sister, anticipation for the festival is high, especially since, after years of trying, efforts to restore the controversial name finally succeeded.
Known for the past few years as Ze Who Must Not Be Named Day, the administration finally gave the go ahead to change the name back to Zonker Harris Day last month. The decision is considered a victory by most of campus, but especially for the residents of WestCo.
“Energy in the WestCo community is at a real high right now because we’re actually having Zonker Harris Day,” WestCo co-President Tennessee Mowrey ’14 said. “Honestly, I don’t think people thought it would happen. We’ve been fighting for this for years now, and I think that many people assumed that the outcome this year would be the same as the past few. When we announced at Guidance that Zonker Harris Day was on the 16th of April, people exploded.”
Planning for the event began in January, when the “Concert WTF” (WestCo Task Force) formed and began working on booking acts for the festival. Even pooling contributions from the Office of Student Activities and Leadership Development, the Concert Committee, and Radical Performance Machine, resources available for booking acts was limited, and the committee received many denials from acts looking for higher compensation.
Still, working within that budget, the group managed to organize an event which not only includes six acts, but also vendors and
decorations to enhance the festivities.
“This year was especially hectic because we had to do a lot of things in order for the administration to approve the name change,” Mowrey said. “These include making a Zonker PSA video (forthcoming), hanging the giant posters in Usdan, and handing out leaflets to students, as well as the creation of the annual Zonker Harris Fundraiser. All proceeds from the t-shirts and sunglasses we have will go directly to Green Street [Arts Center].”
There will be performances running from noon to 6 p.m., and the event will go on regardless of weather conditions (note last years’ rain dancing to Dan Deacon). As far as I’m concerned, there’s no better way to spend Saturday than at one of the University’s most iconic events, celebrating music, springtime, and prefrosh.