Rising costs, budget cuts means no Family Weekend concert

Angelica Cataldo, Entertainment Reporter

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For this year’s Family Weekend, one significant event is not on a list of activities organized by the University Board — the Family Weekend concert.

In the past, the UB has booked bands for Family Weekend such as Cheap Trick in 2013, but this year, because of the rising costs of entertainment and operational costs including sound, lighting and catering, the decision was made not to have a concert this semester.

This will be the second year in a row that the Family Weekend concert was withdrawn from the program.

Three Dog Night, the band set to perform last year, canceled its concert after the death of a band member.

The concert was then replaced with a “Family Funfest,” including an interactive game show, a ventriloquist and a hypnotist.

Ceci Brinker, director of student life, said the current budget impasse has led to significant budget cuts in all facets of university operations.

These cuts have also affected the UB’s decision to opt out of a Family Weekend concert.

Brinker said she received more feedback from families who attended the Family Funfest than from those who attended “big-ticket” events in the past.

“(The survey) suggests EIU students and family members really enjoyed having a variety of family-friendly activities (and) events that appealed to the entire family and not just a few,” Brinker said.

The student life organizations wanted to keep the cost of attending Family Weekend events low, Brinker said.

Instead of a concert, the activities being offered this year consist of a free movie screening of Disney-Pixar’s “Finding Dory” and free activities during the Saturday Funfest such as customizable novelty items for both kids and adults.

The novelty items include things like photo dog tags, stuffed animals and airbrush clothing. An impressionist comedy show, juggling comedy show and a musical performance will also be featured during the weekend.

“This results in significant cost (and) savings passed on to EIU Families to attend and participate in (Family Weekend) events, of which a majority are free of charge,” Brinker said.

Angelica Cataldo can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected].