This Saturday, the annual Zonker Harris Day music festival was shut down by Public Safety (PSafe) after exceeding the event’s allotted time slot. The show’s headliner, Twin Sister, was about to take the stage when PSafe asked students to leave the event area at around 6:20 p.m.
According to Hannah Baker ’14, one of the organizers of the event, the festival, which was registered to end at six p.m., was running past schedule because some bands had arrived late and due to rain delays. Baker said that on-scene PSafe officers were adamant in enforcing the deadline and refused to negotiate with event organizers.
“With any festival that involves a lot of set changes, I think that scheduling is very difficult,” Baker said. “We didn’t anticipate that it would even run until six, but that’s what ended up happening, and PSafe was very unsympathetic and ultimately, I think, unreasonable in their demands. We tried to reason with multiple PSafe members and they just wouldn’t listen to us.”
Director of PSafe Dave Meyer said his officers were just enforcing the rules and faulted the events’ organizers for poor planning. He also noted the importance of maintaining uniform rules across events.
“One of the things I pride myself on, and my department on, is consistency,” Meyer said. “Just because the organizers weren’t organized and were running behind, that really isn’t my issue. We did what we do at every event; when it’s time to close, it’s time to close.”
According to Baker, Twin Sister had set up all of the stage equipment and was about to do a sound check when PSafe ordered the termination
of the festival. Event organizers offered to move the concert indoors to WestCo Café or the WestCo lounge, but PSafe rejected the proposal and warned that they would shut down the event if it continued.
“They said that it would be a continuation of the event and that they would pull the plug as soon as [Twin Sister took stage],” Baker said.
Although Twin Sister did not get to play at the festival, the band accepted an invitation to play later that night at Eclectic for Chana, an Asian culture dance party to raise money for the Japan Red Cross.
Mickey Capper ’13, one of the organizers of the event, said that the timing for the event could have been better planned.
“We probably should have registered the event to end later, but at the moment we were frustrated with Public Safety because we really wanted to see the band,” he said. “Luckily, the students organizing Chana were gracious enough to allow Twin Sister to open their event.”