The Isla Vista Community Services District indefinitely postponed its proposed community festival, which was scheduled to be held on the same day as Deltopia, following UC Santa Barbara’s announcement on March 10 that the university would be transitioning to remote instruction to contain the spread of coronavirus.
$180,000 in funds and a partnership with Lucidity Festival LLC were in the initial plans for the spring festival on Deltopia, designed to draw people away from the traditionally crowded Del Playa Drive event during the first weekend of spring quarter, an epicenter for numerous arrests, citations and medical transports over past years.
After the festival’s price tag raised concerns with the Isla Vista Community Services District (I.V. CSD), the festival underwent several changes before being delayed to 2021. The I.V. CSD then contacted Katya Armistead, assistant vice chancellor for student affairs and dean of student life, to create a smaller-scale festival similar to UCSB’s SunFest, a festival held on campus for students as an alternative to Deltopia.
But with UCSB’s decision to move classes online at least through the end of April, the I.V. CSD’s Deltopia-alternative festival will not be held.
Ahead of Tuesday’s I.V. CSD board meeting, four agenda items were dedicated to a memorandum of understanding and contracts with various entities needed to carry out the smaller-scale festival held in lieu of the larger festival that was planned for 2021.
“We have a number of items relating to the April 4th community festival, which we will not be considering today in light of recent events,” Board President Spencer Brandt announced during the meeting. “What we would like to do is postpone the community festival to a later date.”
Brandt said the I.V. CSD is currently in communication with UCSB, Santa Barbara City College, the County of Santa Barbara and public health officials to determine the new date for the community festival.
The now-defunct festival would have shared similar features to a carnival; the event would have included a rock wall, a water balloon toss, face-painting, local bands and free food provided by various I.V. businesses, according to Armistead.
“We’ve been directed on our campus not to host any events. In fact, most of everything’s canceled in April,” Armistead said.
It is unknown how UCSB’s decision will affect the annual Deltopia, an unsanctioned street party planned for April 4.
“The thing is about Deltopia proper, the unsanctioned events, it’s really up to those who live in Isla Vista to decide when they want to do with [Deltopia]. So we’re going to keep eyes on it in terms of making sure our community is safe,” Armistead added.
Brandt said that despite the delays, the planning for the festival did serve to lay the foundation for a festival in the future.
“There is a silver lining here,” Brandt explained. “We’ve done, essentially, all the legwork that we needed to get to a point where the community festival will become a reality and where we will be able to transition folks into an alternative event that is fun, that is safe and changes the vibe of what’s going on during Deltopia weekend in a significant way for the better.”