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.