Haverfest 2017: More Than Just Your Average Tea Party

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Signs of spring are everywhere, from the budding flowers on trees to more students wearing shorts around campus. And the onset of Spring means that Haverfest, one of Haverford’s annual traditions and biggest events of the year, is right around the corner. Haverfest is a time for Fords to rejoice in the warmth of spring sunshine after completing classes for the year and before the stresses of finals can kick in. This year, Haverfest will take place on April 28 and 29 and the chosen theme by the student body is “Fords in Wonderland.” The two-day event is taking on a different emphasis from last year’s music-heavy focus, but will still maintain the fundamental spirit that so many enjoy.

In comparison to last year’s Haverfest, this year’s event will offer a larger number of activities involving a wide variety of student groups. Haverfest Co-Head Caroline Steliotes said, “The main thing that we really wanted to do is have more activities,” in contrast to the music-heavy Haverfest in 2016. Hot air balloon rides, a zipline, a petting zoo, and a dunk tank are just a few of the activities organized by the Haverfest Committee that will occur throughout the weekend. Student groups are also playing a vital part in this year’s Haverfest, with HavOC sponsoring a rock climbing wall, SAS organizing a Holi event, and Nerd House offering all sorts of events throughout the weekend.

Another change from last year’s Haverfest is the emphasis on making Saturday the focal point of the Haverfest experience. Haverfest Co-Head Sebastian Dilones said “I think our biggest change had to do with the idea of where our funding went exactly…because we spent less on Friday and focused more on all of the Saturday activities, which I think is a big shift in things because most other Haverfest co-heads have had to split the budget evenly between the two nights.”

This change in focus is an intentional move by Dilones and Steliotes. They note that there is less time for activities and performances on Friday compared to Saturday due to students having assignments and classes on Friday. However, Dilones emphasized that “it’s not like we are sacrificing Friday,” as there will be some activities during the late afternoon and night and a SECS-sponsored dance to end the day.

Saturday will feature music events throughout the day and will include a variety of acts and bands, ranging from student bands like Baby Bush to the big-name headliner, Shamir. Shamir is a 22-year old, queer-identified singer and has performed as an opening act for Troye Sivan and a Tiny Desk Concert for NPR in his brief professional career. He recently released Hope, his second professional album, for free on SoundCloud. Shamir noted in the album’s caption that he was on the verge of quitting music before his second album and “my music only feels exciting for me if it’s in the moment, and that’s what this album is.” His music is best described as one-of-a-kind and evolving, ranging from lo-fi sounds on his most recent album to energetic funk dance music on his first album in 2015, Ratchet.

In addition, the indie hip-hop Philly-based group Hardwork Movement will be returning for their second Haverfest in a row as the opening act for Shamir.

With innumerable activities to choose from and several musical acts throughout the weekend, this year’s Haverfest will surely be a time to remember.

Photo originally contributed to the Clerk by Deborah Leter

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