If there are students on the Quad the Saturday of Ivies weekend, it won't be the music lovers. The annual concert will be held at a new venue this year; Passion Pit, Reel Big Fish and the Cool Kids will play at Whittier Field instead of on the Quad.
"We will be, for a number of reasons, moving the Quad concert to Whittier Field," said Megan Brunmier '08, the program advisor for the Entertainment Board (E-Board).
"The decision to change the venue to Whittier Field is based on the technical requirements for the three bands," said Chris Omachi '12, co-chair of the E-Board.
"We are victims of our own success," said Brunmier. Bringing "three really different bands to campus means that they all have really different electrical needs."
The College-owned stage used for the Ivies show in past years is not up to holding the equipment for this year's diverse acts, according to E-Board representatives.
"The old Ivies stage—it's pretty beat up and junky and it wasn't going to be able to support the weight," said E-Board Co-Chair Lucas Delahanty '10.
"This concert is so complicated we have to move to a roof stage," added Brunmier.
The new stage is attached to the bed of a tractor-trailer, which weighs about 36,000 pounds, not including the bands' equipment, according to Delahanty.
Though some feared the tractor-trailer's weight could damage the Quad before Commencement, Brunmier said it could not even physically even make its way on to the Quad.
"No big rig can make that turn," she said. In light of the tractor-trailer's limited turning abilities, there was no way of making the Quad feasible short of "calling Tim Carr and seeing if we can move Hyde."
After months of trying to solve the problems posed by the equipment and the new stage, the E-board began searching for alternatives to the Quad.
"We have tried everything we can to keep it on the Quad," said Brunmier.
The E-board considered the show's rain location, Morrell Gym, as well as Farley Field. Both were undesirable, according to E-board members.
"Bottom line—we didn't want it in the gym," said Omachi.
"The second option was Farley. When I heard that I thought, 'that's really not ideal,'" said Brunmier, citing the Field's remote location, the potential for noise complaints and its heavy athletic use.
The idea to move the show to Whittier Field was "one of those midnight epiphanies" that occurred to Brunmier last week.
"Unlike any other space on campus, it may have enough charm to be the second option to the Quad," she said.
The E-Board contacted Security, Athletics, Facilities Management and the Dining Service to discuss the feasibility of the unprecedented use of Whittier Field for the Ivies concert.
These departments rallied around the idea, according to Brunmier, and have been working fast over the past week to make the necessary arrangements.
Brunmier and other members of the E-Board said they anticipated student resistance to the venue change.
"The fear about moving the concert is that students would want to bail on it," said Brunmier. "No one wants to see the Quad tradition broken."
"We do realize that Ivies on the Quad has been a tradition for a long time," said Omachi. But "we think Whittier Field will be just as appropriate a location for the spring concert."
According to Brunmier, who said that she floated the idea with students outside of the E-Board said that "the general student response so far has been, 'that's really unideal. Why are you doing it?'"
After hearing the explanation for the move, however, students have been understanding, she said.
Director of Safety and Security Randy Nichols was enthusiastic about the new location.
"It's going to be an adjustment for some students but I hope they understand the many benefits of making this move," he said.
Among these benefits is the added security of the fence that surrounds Whittier Field, said Nichols.
"I think the biggest advantage is that its enclosed with a fence, so I think it will allow is to control access much better than the main quad," said Nichols.
"An added benefit is that it's fenced [so] it can be a Bowdoin-specific experience," she said.
Students will enter through a main gate manned by security officers who will check for Bowdoin IDs.
This change will "reduce significantly the number of non-Bowdoin attendees," said Nichols. "The main Quad is really almost impossible to control access to."
According to Nichols, there were two to three security incidents involving non-Bowdoin students attending the event on the Quad last year.
"Often they're intoxicated, often they're unruly, said Nichols. Last year "a person took a swing at a police officer and I actually had to wrestle that person to the ground to subdue that person."
Nichols also predicted that the new location would keep intoxicated students off the streets more effectively than in previous years. Nichols said that he anticipates a heightened police presence on Ivies weekend, especially on the streets surrounding the campus.
Nichols added that the new venue will also reduce noise complaints that have poured in during Ivies past.
"We get quite a few neighborhood noise complaints because the sound from the Quad carries very easily," said Nichols.
This year, the stage will be set up on the Pine Street end of the field, aiming the sound toward the Pines, across Sills Drive and back onto campus.
"The direction of sound makes a big difference," Nichols said.
E-Board leaders pointed to the proximity of Whittier Field to the traditional Pinestock party at the Pine Street apartments as a perk of moving the concert.
"It might provide a nice transition to Pinestock," said Delahanty.
E-Board representatives emphasized the importance of maintaining the field, which is used for football games and track and field practices and meets.
"The no-glass rule is important because it is a field of play," said Delahanty.
"It is an athletic space that is used nearly every day in the spring and needs to stay in good working order," said Brunmier.
Men and women's track and field Coach Peter Slovenski was unconcerned by the use of his team's stomping grounds.
"I'm sure the leadership of the Ivies concert can do a great job of organizing the event so the facility is treated with respect," wrote Slovenski in an e-mail to the Orient. "It's a pretty tough facility that's hosted big football games and track meets, and even the filming of a Hollywood movie graduation scene. It's a beautiful venue for an event."
The E-Board and other organizers wait to gauge the success of the move to Whittier Field.
Said Brunmier, "everyone involved has questions about how this is going to go."