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Spring Concert, Junoon Play to Capacity Crowds

By Christine R. Fry


Spring Weekend 2002 was a melange of sold-out crowds and below expectation attendance. Overall, the event organizers were happy with outcomes of their diligent planning, but each could see room for improvement for next year.

Spring Concert successful

The Spin Doctors and Sugar Ray, the two bands featured at the Spring Weekend concert on Friday night, played to a sold-out crowd in Johnson Athletic Center. The concert co-chairs both agreed that the concert was “fantastic.”

“We’ve had a very tight-knit group of people working on this since November. It seemed that by 7 p.m. on Friday night, everything came together. Everything seemed to go completely as planned. We didn’t get very many curve balls,” said Co-Chair Devdoot Majumdar ’04.

Majumdar said that Johnson was filled to capacity.

“The capacity for Johnson was 3,000. We tried to situate the stage so that it had a more filled look to it,” he said.

Daniel B. Jonas ’02, also a concert co-chair, said that the Spin Doctors’ tour manager was “very impressed” by the MIT concert.

“The fact that Mark McGrath [lead singer of Sugar Ray] jumped off the stage and went into the crowd meant that he thought the show was going well,” Jonas said.

Sam Kwei ’05, a concert-goer, called it a “very lively concert.”

“It was a little crazier than I thought,” Kwei said. He also pointed out that the sound-quality in Johnson was substandard.

“I thought the location could have been better. The acoustic environment in Johnson isn’t as conducive to a concert,” he said.

However, Kwei said “It was worth my money.”

Jonas and Majumdar do not yet know if the concert raised extra seed money to supplement next year’s concert funds. The tickets were priced so that the committee would break even. The only way for extra money to be raised is if a “disproportionately large number” of non-MIT students purchased tickets.

“We certainly will break even,” Jonas said.

Concert security was another aspect of the concert that impressed both the co-chairs and the management of the bands. Security was handled by both MIT Police and student volunteers. An outside company ran the metal detectors. No one was asked to leave the concert and there were no reported security problems.

“Sugar Ray has been on a world tour. Their tour manager remarked that security up front at the barricade was great,” Jonas said.

However, Majumdar said that complaints had been expressed regarding the long lines outside of Johnson before the concert. Concert-goers were required to pass through metal detectors before entering the arena, and only three metal detectors were supplied for approximately 3,000 people.

“I apologize that the line was long, but it was out of our control,” Majumdar said.

Class Wars draws small crowd

Participation in Class Wars, a series of competitions held on Saturday, was not as great as organizer Reuben L. Cummings ’04 expected. He estimates that “a couple hundred” people attended the event.

“A lot of people were there for the barbecue and a lot of them stayed to watch the Class Wars. It was really tough to get people to actually participate,” he said.

For many of the events, participants were recruited from the audience.

“An announcement was made to get audience participation,” Cummings said.

The participants and attendees of the Class Wars were asked to wear their class colors.

“The only people who wore their colors were the grad students,” Cummings said. The graduate students won the Spirit Award, while the Class of 2004 won Best Overall. A trophy honoring their achievement will be displayed in the Student Center.

Cummings isn’t sure if Class Wars will occur next year.

“Planning for this weekend has taken up a lot of my time from classwork and everything else. It depends on what else I have going on and if I have more help,” he said.

Nduka Enemchukwu ’05 participated in the tug-of-war.

“The Class War was cool,” he said.

MacGregor gets sprung

The MacGregor “Get Sprung” party boasted three dance floors with different styles of music playing at each. Hip-hop, techno, and breakdancing were all featured at the party.

“A lot of people liked the breakdancing,” said Deepti D. Mehta ’04, an organizer of “Get Sprung.”

The crowd wasn’t as large as the organizers had expected.

“It was slow in the beginning. From 12 [midnight] onwards it went really well. We expected more than what we had,” Mehta said. Despite the low numbers, Mehta says that “Get Sprung” will be held again next year.

However, “I don’t know if it’ll be [during] Spring Weekend,” she said.

“I liked the dance floor outside,” said Enemchukwu, who attended the party. He said that it allowed for more space and cooled down the crowd.

Junoon rocks Kresge

Junoon, called “the U2 of Pakistan” by The New York Times, successfully finished off Spring Weekend with a sold-out show in Kresge Auditorium on Sunday evening. The concert was sponsored by PAKSMIT (Pakistani Students at MIT), and the proceeds will go to SOS Children’s Villages in Pakistan. The organization sets up villages for orphan children. Surrogate mothers are trained to raise and provide support for the children.

“This concert was to show that young people transcend [the clash of cultures]. We all want to share the message that we [young people] are all one,” said Bilal Zuberi G, one of the organizers of the event.

“It was a great example of unity and diversity,” said Aziz H. Hassanali ’02, another event planner.

Zuberi said that the band was thrilled with their MIT performance.

“They loved it. They are actually now thinking of doing a CD of concerts at colleges. ... This was the best show they’ve ever done in the U.S. ... It went perfect. It was a sold-out show. Everyone loved it,” Zuberi said.

Zuberi expected approximately 600 concert-goers. Instead, all 1,100 seats of Kresge were filled with students from MIT and many other colleges in the region, including Wellesley College and Columbia University. Zuberi estimates that the concert will raise a few thousand dollars for SOS Children’s Villages.

Zuberi wishes that the concert could have been held in a larger venue.

“I would have done it [held the concert] in a much bigger hall because we sold out. That means that there were people outside who couldn’t get in. We had the interest, we just didn’t have the logistics,” he said. He lamented that more funding could not be obtained from the Institute to subsidize the cost of the concert. This would have lowered the ticket price and thus made the concert more accessible to the general public. Zuberi said that this would have allowed people who may not be big fans of Junoon to attend the concert.