On Saturday, May 15, thousands of inebriated students descended upon Harder Stadium to enjoy an afternoon of music and overpriced Monster. Associated Students had a lineup of bands guaranteed to thrill and promised faster-moving lines than last year’s debacle. Sounds like a recipe for a great time, right? Sadly, this couldn’t be further from the reality of what happened.
[media-credit id=20135 align=”alignleft” width=”168″][/media-credit]It all started with the line outside. Because I really didn’t care about Soul Minded — the winner of A.S. Program Board’s Battle of the Bands contest — I figured that I would show up at 2 p.m. in time to see Super Mash Bros. and the rest of the lineup. After the enormous line from last year’s Extravaganza, this year’s organizers were allegedly taking steps to reduce wait times, so I wasn’t too worried about showing up an hour into the event. Boy, was I wrong. I got in line at 2 p.m. and didn’t get into Harder Stadium until 4 p.m. I missed the first two sets and was too pissed off to enjoy Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros.
The complete and utter lack of organization and preparedness was a total fail on behalf of the organizers. Let me draw a parallel: This year’s Floatopia was cancelled because the student organizers failed to show adequate preparations for a safe and sanitary experience. I agreed with that decision. So how did the school show their ability to plan a better, safer event? By making 10,000 drunken college students stand in line for two hours without trashcans, restrooms or adequate police supervision. The amount of piss, vomit and trash in and around Harder Stadium is a testament to the school’s hypocrisy.
The truly sad thing about Extravaganza was that, although it was marketed as a free concert, UCSB students had already paid for it with their registration fees. So tell me, Associated Students, why the hell didn’t we get priority admission into our concert? Let me offer some advice: Next year, have one line for UCSB students and another line for out-of-towners. Let the students in first, and once they are all in, charge the visitors $20 for admission. Why should I have to pay for them?
I graduated in March, so I won’t be around to see if these suggestions are taken to heart, but please, Associated Students, step your game up. Extravaganza is a great event if executed properly, but when you show a complete lack of preparation, it ruins the whole experience. I’m not opposed to letting non-UCSB students in, but show some respect for the students who paid for it and let them in first. Rent some Porta Potties and trashcans as well. If there’s one thing I hate more than seeing someone piss on a power converter box in Harder Stadium, it’s my alma mater’s hypocrisy in cancelling one event to make the same mistakes in another.