The Isla Vista Community Services District held its first Spring Festival at the Isla Vista Community Center and Perfect Park during Deltopia this past weekend.
Over 1,000 students and residents attended the event, according to Isla Vista Community Services District (IVCSD) Board President and Director Spencer Brandt.
The festival was years in the making, with the pandemic preventing the community services district from holding the festival since 2020.
IVCSD, alongside several other community partners such as the Associated Students Program Board, created alternative events for students to engage in during Deltopia with the hopes of drawing students away from the heavy crowding and providing a safe environment during the annual, unsanctioned street party.
IVCSD formed a Spring Festival committee to create the festival, which included Brandt, IVCSD Director Catherine Flahertyand IVCSD Director Carrie Topliffe.
The event included food, water, restrooms, seating and live performances from Dead Set, Stolen Bikes, Hominid, Task Force Freedom and DJ Dongle. The event drew at least 1,000 students during Deltopia.
Law enforcement reported zero incidents from the Spring Festival.
According to Brandt, the event was a success.
“I think it was really successful,” Brandt said. “We had a really stellar lineup of Isla Vista artists that did an incredible job … It was just so incredible to see the excitement that residents had, people enjoying the festival dancing, singing along with music or just chilling out with their friends playing cornhole. I think it was very much in line with our vision for a safe and fun Deltopia.”
Flaherty expressed a similar sentiment, assessing the event as a success.
“I thought it was really energizing and inspiring, and I think it’s great,” Flaherty said. “I kept looking around and thinking, ‘There’s so much opportunity for the next years to come.’ And so that I think was incredible.’”
According to Brandt, IVCSD aims to more heavily publicize future Spring Festivals beginning next year. Flaherty added that she hopes to add new elements to the event, including art exhibits and pop-up stores.
“I think there’s a lot of possibilities for growth in the future as well, so I’m excited for those possibilities,” Flaherty said. “I think incorporating not just music but art exhibits, pop-up thrift stores, jewelry that people make. I think incorporating art by local Isla Vistans as much as possible — that would be amazing in my eyes for the next few years.”
Flaherty said that holding the first Spring Festival two years after the start of the COVID-19 pandemic offered an opportunity for IVCSD and community stakeholders to rewrite the negative norms surrounding Deltopia.
“There was a huge opportunity to begin to rewrite some norms that may have left with graduating classes. And so there was kind of a lack of institutional memory,” Flaherty said, referencing how the pandemic and remote learning halted full-scale Deltopias since 2020. “[We] really recognized that this was something that we could capitalize on and really start changing the tide, making [Deltopia] really healthy and community-minded.”
Looking back on the event, Brandt described the experience as incredible.
“It was incredible to be down there in the pit with everyone dancing, singing along to the music,” Brandt said. “I am definitely a big fan of all of our bands now. I was going through and following the ones on Instagram and trying to get out to some of their other shows sometimes, too. I mean, it was incredibly, incredibly fun.”
A version of this article appeared on p. 7 of the April 7 print edition of the Daily Nexus.