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Student-led initiative aims to bring spring music festival to BU

Many universities around Boston University hold spring music festivals, which inspired a group of students to come together and try to organize an annual spring music festival on campus. PHOTO BY RACHEL MCLEAN/ DAILY FREE PRESS STAFF

An annual spring music festival may be coming to Boston University next year, thanks to a student-led initiative that is currently trying to gain momentum for the project.

Jainam Doshi, a sophomore in the Questrom School of Business and one of the students leading the project, said his goal for the music festival is to make it an annual event that brings the school together and creates a sense of community at BU. Doshi said he wants to focus on getting a famous musician to perform at the inaugural festival, and then in subsequent years, expand and diversify the festival activities beyond just one performance.

The group is not an official club, but rather just a small gathering of students who are passionate about the festival, Doshi said. They are currently in the process of reaching out to other schools in the area who have these types of events to get inspiration and advice on how to bring a festival to BU.

Doshi said he has started talking to schools in New England, such as Bentley University, Boston College, Brown University and University of Rhode Island.

“We’ve gotten a ton of information from them: how to start it, what they do, what methods they use to contact these artists and whatnot,” Roshi said.

Jae Cho, a sophomore in the College of Arts and Sciences and another student leader of the project, said they sent out a survey to BU students to see what kind of artists and performances students wanted to see and to help gain interest in the festival.

“We did find that most people did want one really big act, something that we lack at BU,” Cho said. “We do have a lot of smaller concerts and different student groups have different people come perform. We just lack that big, unifying event.”

The event is still in the planning stages, but it will move soon to the funding stage, Doshi said.

“We have to meet with people higher up at BU to get approval, to see which ways we’re allowed to fund and who can fund us exactly with the approval,” Doshi said. “That’s where we’re at right now — we’re just going to meetings to pretty much get approval for funding.”

In order to keep the festival happening annually, the group has been thinking about creating a club or organization dedicated to planning and putting on the festival each year. However, this depends entirely on funding, Doshi said.

There has been an overwhelming amount of support from the student body, Cho said, with many students volunteering to help at the festival. A large part of this support has been from younger students who would benefit most from the event being annual.

“There’s a lot of people coming into this university who are interested and having this kind of interest, which gives promise that this event can be an annual event even after we graduate as upperclassmen,” Cho said.

Crystal Eusebio, an assistant director at the Student Activities Office, said she thinks the festival is a good idea and that these students should keep on planning and trying to get this event off of the ground. However, she expressed concern about competition in the area.

“One thing they have to keep in mind is that there are many concert opportunities that are happening all over the city,” Eusebio said. “There’s the House of Blues, there’s all sorts of venues, so this would kind of be in competition with those other spaces.”

Several students said they are supportive of the festival and are excited to see if it will happen.

Toni-Ann Mattera, a sophomore in the College of Communication, said this is something that a lot of other schools have that BU is lacking.

“I think it should come back because a lot of other schools have it and it’s a big thing there so I think it would be really fun for BU to have one,” Mattera said.

Mary Seddo, a junior in CAS, said she thinks the festival is a great idea, but the administration may not be as supportive due to some of the activities it may attract.

“I feel like it could go either way, because I feel like something like music invites things like drinking and stuff, which can be not great for the administration, so they won’t want to do it,” Seddo said.

Shannon Kropp, a sophomore in CAS, said the timing of this event could potentially be a good way that helps students ease their stress.

“I think if it was around finals time, it would be a good de-stressor kind of thing,” Kropp said. “It could bring a lot of people together.”

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