Arts County Fair is no more

Posted by: | November 22, 2007 | 5 Comments

The yearly campus festival of music and debauchery synonymous with the last day of classes is no more. Ats County Fair, the last-day-of-class drinking extravaganza that has marked the end of the school year for 16 seasons of students at UBC has come to a sad end. The Arts Undergraduate society cancelled the event for the year at a Tuesday meeting.

Citing the increasing debt that the even has incurred over the past two years, the press release from AUS president Stephanie Ryan expressed regret about the need for the cancellation. Essentially, he financial reality of running an enormous festival with security have gotten out of sync with the revenue from ticket and alcohol sales.

In the press release Stephanie blamed a lack of engagement on campus and change in the sense of community and drinking culture for the declining popularity of the event. Looking over pictures of ACF crouds with AUS old timer (and blog hero) Gerald Deo revealed a pretty stark trend – simply less people.

I’ve never been to ACF, and don’t know too much about it, but this seems unfortunate even to me. The cancellation of this event will only make people more convinced of the dearth of fun on campus, and ignite more feelings of disappointment in campus life, and detachment from the campus community. Facts is facts though – the AUS can’t go on losing tens of thousands of dollars every few years. Happily, the AMS will be running an event on the last day of school as something of a substitute for ACF this year on McInnes field. And it’s anything like the welcome back BBQ, it will probably rock. So we can still look forward to that.

The interesting thing about this is to speculate about the AUS itself. With the fair out of the way, they will actually be able to reclaim the second term of the year. There’s great potential for any number of creative and interesting events now. Who knows, this may even result in a better and stronger AUS that has a more sustained focus on Arts students throughout the year, instead of the typical form of a fairly small clique of ACF-planners.


5 Comments so far

  1. Anonymous on November 22, 2007 11:45 pm

    Hi Maayan,

    Thanks for writing such a fair and balanced account of the decision. The AUS cannot incur a large debt within the AMS year after year, and we do hope that we move forward positively from the end of ACF. We have plans to increase our programming for second semester of this year, but I’d love to hear more feedback from Arts students about any needs that we’re not currently addressing as an organization.


  2. leigh-anne on November 25, 2007 4:21 am

    Maayan, I definitely agree with your point about there being potential for more creative and interesting events. If ACF runs at a loss, why keep it up? I’m looking forward to seeing what comes of this.

  3. Brendan on March 11, 2010 7:51 pm

    Though I agree that a revenue-losing event is not a smart venture to undertake, year after year, I still lament the loss of such a momentous and awe inspiring festival. I attended UBC from ’98-’03 (an extra year required, too many core credits) and was floored by ACF’s spirit and exhilaration. I was too broke for the first one, but attended every other one until my graduation. There’s an animal within students that stays caged during the school year, in favor of time management and responsible academic performance that suffers catastrophically without an outlet for expression. A venue such as T-bird stadium provides a place and ACF provides a time in which to cut loose. If the AUS is citing changes in the student mentality on campus and shift away from such “debauchery”, I would counter with the argument that the cancelation of ACF this year just reflects a change in the make-up of the decision makers within the AUS alone. Whether or not the views of the AUS represent those of the whole remains to be seen. Focus should instead should have been on moving ACF revenues from the red into the black – God knows students can afford more expensive tickets and / or some local sponsorship.

  4. andrew lee on March 1, 2012 6:12 am

    hey I remember sitting on hill over looking the concert drunk as a graduating university kid could be… about to embark on the stagger back to where i was to sleep.
    The sun was going down the concert was over and not just a chapter but a book was closing in my life…
    the fondest of memories…
    that was 1992… the memories were foggy the next day… and maybe sharper now as i have mined those moments over and over again…
    shitty its gone

  5. Smart Guy on May 15, 2012 1:55 pm

    It’s all about marketing! And quit paying the Nazi police to police everything all the time! IT’s the tyranny of the cops that are screwing with FUN!

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