A sad, cold VEISHEA

The grills sizzle; everyone around me is screaming just to keep up a conversation, and all eyes are focused on the food that could be theirs. But as an anxious crowd awaits their late evening snack, I carry on a conversation with a rather inebriated individual. “It seems to me,” said the dark haired man in glasses, “that the theme of VEISHEA this year is getting drunk.” As I rode home after my delicious late night meal, I started to realize how true these very words from the man I met in line at the Flying Burrito were. The number of ‘Hey, Lance!’ comments I received as I rode my bike home came at an alarming rate. And judging by my ability to strike up a conversation with just about anybody I was in line with, the let’s-get-drunk theme was apparent and in full swing. “Eve 6, I mean, they’re a band, but not one that everyone can recognize,” said the mysterious dark haired, glassed man from the Flying Burrito, “If this was six years ago, just about everyone would be going crazy to go see that concert. But, come on, the 90’s are over, and we really don’t care about a band who burned out by 2000.” The familiarity of the headlining band with students, the 30 degree temperatures and snow, and the wristband policy could all probably account for the sad little crowd I saw as I passed the fenced-in concert area. According to VEISHEA organizers, only about 2,000 of the 7,000 tickets available had been sold by the Friday of VEISHEA. “I don’t think this VEISHEA did a very good job showcasing Iowa State as it has done in the years passed,” said an Iowa State student whom I had crossed paths with. “Most campuses will look the same on a gray rainy early spring day. What visitors missed out on was the beauty of our school’s campus in bloom.” Despite the freezing temperatures and snow on the ground, less than half of last years record 75,000 people in attendance showed up. “It was so cold on Saturday morning,” one ISU student said, “I woke up, saw the snow on the ground, and went back to sleep. I didn’t care that an astronaut was the grand marshal, it was just too cold.” Looking back to Friday night at the Flying Burrito, there seemed to be a general feeling of well-being. Maybe it was the warmth of the building, the smell of the food, or the hope for a great VEISHEA, but the enthusiasm for the event was definitely present. Looking around, I could see a little twinkle in the eyes of the students and members of the community crammed into that eatery. Or, maybe, it was just astigmatism.