Cold spell numbs arts festival by Coffman

Cloudy and cool weather offset the potential allure of free food, live music and massages.

Kathryn Elliott

The Campus Arts Festival, a yearly event put on by Student Unions and Activities at the University of Minnesota, drew passers-by and an angry phone call on Friday, but not much more.

The potential allure of jewelry vendors, free food, massages, and live music was offset by cloudy, cool weather.

Grabbing large handfuls of popcorn and laying next to his bike, Sam Glasenapp jammed on the lawn in front of Coffman Union to music from the band Sleeping in the Aviary that he called âÄúfreakinâÄô awesome.âÄù

âÄúTheyâÄôre playing a concert and everybodyâÄôs just inside. I feel like itâÄôs the general feel this year âÄî people are shy,âÄù he said.

Tricia Schweitzer, advisor for the event, said that based on free popcorn and ice cream handouts, at least 1,000 students walked through the area.  

Like other years, the budget and amount spent on Campus Arts Festival was about $5,000. The cost included production aspects like putting up a stage and fees like paying caricature artists and musicians.

Overall student reaction to the event was positive, she said, but one faculty member called to complain about the noise and ask that University police be called if the band did not end promptly at 1 p.m.

A Minneapolis sound ordinance gives permission for amplified sound between noon and 1 p.m., said Sarah Fastner, program director for Student Unions and Activities.

Carol Davy, a five-year veteran of the Campus Art Festival said she and her sister Barb Jones come to sell their handmade jewelry every year. The two mostly peddle their wares at nursing homes and online, under the name Davy Jones Locker.

Davy said she wasnâÄôt worried about making money because jewelry making is more of an âÄúaddictive hobbyâÄù than a livelihood. This year, one of the biggest sellers for them was feather earrings hanging from a long chain.

Cultural studies student Lucy Geach, friend and former roommate of some of the Sleeping in the Aviary band members, called the group âÄúone of MadisonâÄôs best exports to Minneapolis.âÄù

Looking around the lawn, empty except for a small group of her friends dancing by the stage, Geach said, âÄúPeople should enjoy this because weâÄôre paying for it and theyâÄôre really good!âÄù