Veishea changes, (hopefully) improves

With the coming of spring, students look forward to warmer weather, green grass, and VEISHEA. Veishea, which is the largest student-run festival in the country, takes place this year from April 13 th to the 19 th . This annual celebration at Iowa State University gives the residents of Ames the chance to enjoy a wide variety of events, food, and entertainment, which, this year, includes comedians, a hypnotist, and lectures from figures such as Greg Behrendt, author of the book He’s Just Not That Into You. This year’s Veishea was originally slated to be March 30th through April 5th, but the date was pushed back after last year’s Veishea was greeted with a layer of snow on the ground, and cold temperatures, which discouraged attendance to some outdoor events. Organizers and students alike are hoping that this year’s Veishea will have better weather. Another change that has come about for this year’s Veishea stems from a change made to last year’s Veishea. The wristband policy at Veishea 2008 for the Live @ Veishea concert event resulted in an unfavorable reaction from the student population and other Veishea attendees, even leading to the creation of a group on Facebook named “VEISHEA + wristband = worst idea ever”, which reached a membership in the thousands. The policy made it so a limited amount of wristbands were sold solely to Iowa State students, faculty, and alumni, shutting out others who were interested in attending the event. This year, the wristband policy is set to return, with only changes in the process of how the wristbands are purchased. Instead of selling wristbands, tickets will be sold to students prior to the event, where they will be exchanged for wristbands upon entry of the concerts. This year’s Live @ Veishea’s line up includes Cartel, Straylight Run, Ludo, and The Morning Light, and is scheduled to be April 18th. The main reason behind the changes have been attributed to trying to prevent riots, but the adjustments have been met by disapproval and skepticism from some. "When the university intentionally makes Veishea suck, it kind of stops being a holiday." senior Alex Boeke said. "No matter what they do, people could riot. If you let them have too much fun, they’ll riot. If you don’t let them have enough fun, they’ll riot." junior Amanda Evans said. While Veishea may be associated with out-of-control college students, riots, or some combination of the two, the mention of Veishea brings up more pleasant thoughts for some. Many students said that the part of Veishea they were looking forward to the most were the famous cherry pies. "I am very excited for my cherry pie," said senior Victoria Harding. "After standing in line for about an hour, it better be good." Though Veishea is a week-long celebration, most Ames High students end up participating in the festivities mainly on the Saturday of that week. The parade is scheduled for Saturday morning at 10:30 a.m., where Ames High’s own marching band can be seen and heard. Throughout the rest of the day, numerous food stands, carnival rides and games, and displays from student organizations will be available for Veishea goers to enjoy. Whether this year’s Veishea have better weather, or if the changes will have a negative impact upon attendance remains to be seen, but one thing is for certain: there will be many opportunities for those who go to Veishea to have fun in this annual festival.