It’s T-minus two days from one of the biggest events in the Columbia calendar. The next few days are sure to be hectic: Stage building commences at 2 p.m. Thursday and is scheduled to be completed by 6 p.m., yet there remains a plethora of other tasks, from placing speakers to holding sound checks, to be taken care of before Baccha90s begins on Saturday, according to organizer Geneva Miller, CC ’13.
In terms of on-campus help, Bacchanal members credited many people with helping pull the minutiae together.
As always, coordinating a concert of this scale is a team effort. Rodney Mirabal, assistant manager at University Events Management, explained that UEM reserves the space, while Public Safety ensures the security of the artists and attendees. At the same time, Columbia Facilities is in charge of “staff and additional furnishings that might be needed.”
By and large, the Bacchanal committee is trying to get back to its old operation this year. The concert will be held on Low Steps again, which—luckily for students—means that they will not have to face multiple gates barring the lawn or need to have their hand stamped to get into the concert.
“Public Safety will be on site, but the concert will look and function the way it did two years ago,” Bacchanal president Dan Weinstein, CC ’12, said. “Last year’s venue change presented unanticipated constraints, but by returning to Low Plaza we’ve been able to avoid any of the issues faced last year.”
Aside from crowd control, Weinstein and his peers see aesthetic reasons to bring Bacchanal back on the steps.
“It’s a theater that already exists on campus,” Weinstein said. “The acoustics are great, there’s ample space for a crowd, and Alma Mater provides a perfect spot for the sound board.”
Surf-punk trio Wavves, New Orleans rapper Curren$y, and jazz-electronica headliner Big Gigantic will arrive on campus this Saturday morning as the setup is taking place. However, fans hoping for a glimpse of the acts may be disappointed. Miller said, “We can’t release artist arrival times for obvious reasons—our job is to get them into their hospitality rooms with as little fuss as possible.”
But this year, headliners aren’t the only attraction. The committee teamed up with Live at Lerner and Postscrypt under the umbrella moniker "Symposium." The week long festival launched at lunchtime Monday, and will conclude with Postscrypt’s FolkFest on Sunday, showcasing seven folk acts starting at 3 p.m. in Van Am Quad.
“The aim of this year’s Bacchanal was to create a weeklong festival across the whole campus and not just a one-stage event,” said co-chair and visuals editor for the Eye Joe Girton, CC ’14.
Responding to the “Baccha90s” naysayers who question how this year’s bill resembles the theme, Girton pointed out added that they will be screening the Looney Tunes flick “Space Jam” on Ancel Plaza on April 20.
Several members of the committee maintained that Bacchanal themes never bear over talent booking—there was not a Han Solo set ahead of ChewBacchanal ’10, and hopes of Oasis re-forming for “Don’t Look Back in Anger” were perhaps unrealistic.
The committee remains confident in its decisions, if a bit jittery about the upcoming preparations.
“I think it’s fair to say that we’re all naturally a little nervous for Saturday. We’ve been planning Bacchanal for most of the school year, and we can’t wait to see our creation,” Miller said. “So far, operations are running smoothly, and we anticipate nothing but an amazing, lively Bacchanal.”
Correction: An earlier version of this article stated that Daniel Weinstein is CC '13. The article has been updated to reflect the correct class year. Spectator regrets the error.