Behind-the-Scenes of WittFest 2015 with Union Board

WittFest 2015 is over. But before it could be ruled as one to go down in the record books, it came in roaring like a lion.

This year’s WittFest was no different than any other with the exception of the weather that caused the locations to change to the HPER Center.

In this last edition of Witt Discoveries, the mission at hand was to figure out what goes on in Union Board’s world in the week leading up to the biggest campus event of the year.

“We started preparing in January for [WittFest]. That’s when we figured out who our headliner was going to be,” said junior Madeline Kraft, Union Board annual events co-chair.

While a lot of students disagreed with the new wristband policy set in place by Union Board, Kraft told Witt Discoveries, “It is new this year. We expanded it on top of last year’s policy in regards to each student only receiving one wristband in their campus mailbox, and if the student wanted to bring a guest, they’d have to pick up their [guest wristband] from one of the [Union Board reps] or one of the student center managers from 5 p.m. — 1 a.m.” during this past week.

When Union Board was asked how they pick the headlining act for WittFest, Co-President of Union Board Ellen Martin responded, “There was a huge list we thought of, and a lot them were small upcoming bands and we worked off that.”

Kraft added that, “April 25 is the largest college spring fest date this year, as was April 24 last year. That’s why we had so much trouble finding an act last year. Luckily, this year, we were more on top of our game and were able to find somebody and secure them pretty quickly.”

It is clear that when students don’t like who the headlining act is for WittFest, they make sure their voices our heard loud and clear.

“Performers also go on tour and are at other places; we are not the only school in Ohio. A lot of the times people have no knowing about budget at all,” Martin said. “Students want 21 Pilots, but 21 Pilots has gotten so famous within the last two years from being on the MTV Music Awards show. They have gone from [costing] $30,000 to $70,000 in the past two years. Which is truly not in our budget!”

Sophomore Evan Bernard, annual event co-chair for Union Board, said that contracting bands can be more expensive than perceived.

“People may see the initial cost for a band, but there are additional costs,” Bernard explained.

When Union Board was asked about how they manage the secrecy of the headliner for so long, they answered that it’s part of the job.

“Part of accepting a position on Union Board you understand the secrecy of this event,” Kraft said.

Bernard explained, though, that “a couple people thought we had the contract signed [for the headlining act] months before, and we really didn’t get it signed until March. We can’t do anything about that until we get a signed contract.”

On the day of WittFest, a lot of different things are happening at once, and Kraft mentioned that a lot of what’s running through her mind and a lot of other Union Board members’ minds are “making sure all the list and everything that we have put into place can actually be implemented on time and correctly.”

Lastly, before ending the behind-the-scenes conversation with Union Board, Witt Discoveries had to ask what the typical budget for WittFest is. The answer?

“We are not going to disclose that.”

And who is on the short list for headlining acts for the next WittFest?

“Sunday morning, we can talk about next year,” Kraft said.

Witt Discoveries’ time with Union Board was short, but very informative.

If Witt Discoveries shall return next year, it will continue bringing you the conversations that are the talk of campus.

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