Weather woes

James Heggen

The Veishea general co-chairs pointed their fingers at the inclement weather for the poor attendance at this past weekend’s Veishea events.

Megan Todd, Veishea co-chairwoman and senior in marketing, thought this year’s Veishea went very well, especially working around the weather.

“The weather this year for Veishea was less than ideal,” she said.

Kyle Peterson, Veishea general co-chairman and junior in marketing, also thought Veishea was a success despite the less-than-perfect weather during the weeklong event.

The outdoor events were most affected by the weather, and Saturday’s were moved into the Memorial Union.

Both Peterson and Todd blamed the weather for the decreased attendance for events, especially those taking place outdoors.

“All the outdoor events, I think, would have had a better turnout had the weather been better,” Peterson said.

Todd said, out of the 7,000 wristbands that were available, approximately 3,000 were sold for events at the Veishea stage, including the Live@Veishea concerts.

Peterson said 3,000 was actually a good number, considering the weather conditions on Friday and Saturday.

He said he felt more would have been more sold if the weather had been different.

“I would say the weather played a huge factor, and I talked to a lot of people who said they’d love to go to the concerts, but they just don’t want to stand in 25-degree weather,” he said.

To one alumnus, however, it looked like it wasn’t just wristband sales that were hurt by the weather, but actual attendance.

Joe Loonan, alumnus and resident of Ames, stood outside the concert Saturday night during one of the Live@Veishea performances.

“We were here to see how big of a joke this was going to be,” he said. “Because they sold wristbands and no one’s here.”

Krandon Henry, graduate student in interdisciplinary graduate studies, and Denise Wilkes, ISU alumna, both attended the pancake feed on Central Campus Friday night and waited in line for about an hour. It was Henry’s second Veishea and Wilkes had been to a few more.

“I think this might be my eighth one,” she said.

Wilkes said the 2008 Veishea was the coldest she had ever been to. Henry agreed wholeheartedly with Wilkes’ thoughts on the temperature.

“Of my two, this one is the least comfortable,” Henry said.

Although some of the outdoor events struggled to draw large crowds, the indoor events were well-attended. Todd said people were turned away at the first show of the mentalist on Saturday night and Bingo was at full capacity.

Both Todd and Peterson said feedback on the week’s festivities had been positive so far.

“It’s been great feedback so far. I haven’t heard anything negative,” Peterson said.

Loonan felt differently. He said he only attended Cyclone Idol and Veishea Thinks I’m Funny, which he enjoyed, but his overall sentiments didn’t hold the same message.

“This is really lame – last year it was fun,” he said.

Veishea is scheduled even earlier next year, from March 30-April 5. Todd said Veishea dates are chosen several years in advance and dates have already been chosen through 2011.

“The Veishea Advisory Council plans the future dates of Veishea, according to Easter, Passover and other university events that are going on,” she said.

The 2009 dates were chosen because of religious holiday conflicts and the 100th anniversary of the Drake Relays.

Peterson said that, with the influx of people the relays will bring, the date was chosen to avoid having Veishea coincide with the relays.

“We don’t really want to be their outlet for late-night entertainment because those people are not connected with Iowa State and have no stake in Iowa State and no stake in Veishea,” he said.