Student Involvement and Union Board recently released an email to the student body declaring the availability of Wittfest tickets for students. In the past, students have been given one free guest wristband in conjunction with their own admission wristband. But, this year, each student is now allotted two guest tickets that can be purchased for $5 each.
As soon as I saw this email, I was immediately appalled that I had to pay to have my friends come and visit me. But after further thought, it makes sense. Witt probably lost an immense amount of money after having to cancel last years Wittfest performer, B.o.b, and schedule another performer both in such short notice. Because Union Board decided to cancel B.o.b’s appearance less than a month out from Wittfest, they still had to pay a significant cancellation fee and then pay a whole other performer. Charging for guest tickets is a good step in an attempt to recover what was lost from last year’s fiasco.
Buying guest tickets might also prevent Springfield locals and other unwanted guests from making an appearance for the headlining performance. Before, students could just accumulate guest wristbands from friends who weren’t planning on using them which would’ve made it much easier for any average Jane Doe to get a hold of one of the wristbands.
Union Board has also worked to up the production value of the performance this year. Planning to have a new TV behind the performer in the newly renovated HPER ‘29 gym, the performance is certainly better quality than in previous years which might justify the price of guest tickets. Further, Union Board now doesn’t have to make arrangements to have both an indoor and outdoors performance. Only planning to have an indoor performance certainly saves Union Board a lot of time and money.
Of course, Wittfest is something special and unique for the student body to enjoy and is something we look forward to every year. I think I speak for the majority of campus when I say that we would rather not have townies invading our event.
On the other hand, don’t you think that charging for guest tickets discourages people from wanting to bring their friends? Why would students want to pay for something that used to be free?
I’m sure Wittfest will be fantastic just as it has been year after year, but I gotta say that I’m just a little confused on the change in guest wristbands.