U-Fest comes to Coffman lawn

What started out as an idea for a party where friends would get together and compete to see who could eat their way out of a kiddie pool culminated in the first ever U-Fest . The event, which was held Thursday on the Coffman Union lawn, was the product of two University students, Nick Beste , finance senior, and Kevin Carlow , a 2007 Carlson School of Management graduate in entrepreneurship and marketing. U-Fest featured booths sponsored by various companies such as Dell, IKEA and State Farm Insurance. Besides offering games such as the âÄúTextbook Toilet TossâÄù and a Rock Band video game tournament, each booth also had a sign with the founding story of the sponsoring company. Various prizes were offered, including Timberwolves tickets, a 50cc scooter and the chance to perform on stage at the upcoming Panic! At the Disco and Dashboard Confessional concert. Carlow said he and Beste were fortunate enough to get a permit allowing them to hold the event outside of Coffman Union, which he considered the best location for U-Fest. By securing the lawn for the event, they were able to spend less money on promotions as the area has a lot of foot-trafficking every day. âÄúItâÄôs crazy,âÄù Ashleigh Brummund , a 2007 Carlson graduate who helped at U-Fest, said. âÄúEverything Kevin has done is uncharted territory. âÄúIt gives a lot of vendors the chance to reach a diverse group of students,âÄù she added. âÄúStudents love free stuff.âÄù It was that word âÄúfreeâÄù that brought chemistry first-year Jon Helander to U-Fest. âÄúI just got out of class and heard about free food,âÄù Helander said. Brummund spoke about the large number of students who waited in line to get free hot dogs earlier in the afternoon. With the number of people attempting to get hot dogs, Brummund said the volunteers handing out the food started joking for the students to abandon the line and mob. Carlow, who started planning the event five weeks ago, said more than $25,000 was raised for U-Fest. Carlow and Beste said they hope U-Fest becomes a spring event down the road. âÄúItâÄôs a great example of what a couple of student entrepreneurs can do,âÄù John Stavig, the director of the Gary S. Holmes Center for Entrepreneurship and U-Fest adviser, said. Carlow gave three points of advice for other students looking to put on an event like U-Fest: âÄúStart early, make lists and donâÄôt sleep,âÄù he said.