As the UCen Hub wraps up its remodeling, Associated Students Program Board and the UCen Administration will begin a new weekly late-night entertainment series featuring concerts, comedy and an occasional beer garden.
Five Indie rock bands will kick off the first “After Hours @ the Hub” event tonight. The free show will begin at 9 p.m., with acts such as Moving Units, Kissing Tigers, The Henry Clay People, Test Your Reflex and Young Turks. The series, which will last until 1:30 a.m. every Friday and Saturday night, was designed to be another low-cost – sometimes free – alternative to Isla Vista partying, said Richard Sloven, concert coordinator.
Sloven said the UCen will sell beer during large events, but students must drink it in the designated beer garden area of the building. For smaller events like comedy nights, Sloven said they will sell snack food.
“[We will have] concerts, comedy nights, student group events, anything where people can go and have fun,” Sloven said. “Concerts will include anything from major tours to local acts like bands and student songwriters.”
UCen Director Alan Kirby said the newly remodeled Hub will look similar to a nightclub on weekend nights, which will hopefully attract students to campus.
“So that students know that there’s always something going on during weekend nights on campus, a great deal of lighting is being installed for a nightclub effect on the dance floor, and food court outlets will be covered at night,” Kirby said.
After the Hub remodel is completed, Kirby said the area will include raised platform seats and new sections for dining, as well as nine big screen TVs and a sports bar.
Although the first phase of remodeling – which was scheduled to be completed Jan. 15 – is still underway, Kirby said it should be completed in time for tonight’s concert.
Other events scheduled for the next couple of months include the Sub City Take Action Tour, with Red Jumpsuit Apparatus, at the end of February and a Battle of the Band in March. There will also be hip-hop dances and songwriting showcases.
Tickets will be sold for the events that are not free at the Associated Students Ticket Office. Tomorrow night, the student improvised comedy group Improvability will be headlining a free comedy night, featuring several local standup acts and DJs.
Sloven said the program is also partially funded by the Students’ Initiative.
“This program would not have happened without the Students’ Initiative,” Sloven said. “None of the events will be more than $5. Normally most of them would have been $10-$15, but a lot of them are now free, including the one on Friday night.”
While Program Board has already booked events until the end of this quarter, Sloven said the program’s success this year will determine if the UCen will maintain the events next year.
“If the program is successful, next year it will become permanent,” Sloven said.
Kirby said the second phase of remodeling will begin during Spring Quarter and will mostly involve tile and stone work.
“Unfortunately, there will be a period when no programming will be done due to the floor work,” Kirby said.
Kirby said construction should be completed in May.