Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern


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Dillo Day might see clear sky

Dillo Day organizers have spent months crossing their fingers for a clear sky Saturday — and Thursday night’s reports show the weather might cooperate and allow for outdoor events for the first time since 2000.

The forecast on www.weather.com predicted Saturday’s weather to be mostly sunny, with a zero percent chance of rain.

“Every morning we wake up to a different forecast,” said Brian Bockrath, co-chairman of Mayfest, which organizes the event. He added he’s been checking the weather “like seven times a day.”

Bockrath and Mayfest co-chairwoman Stephanie Rich will make the final rain call at 5:30 a.m. Saturday.

“It will be phenomenal if it’s outside,” said Rich, a Medill sophomore.

Setup for the Dillo Day concert, featuring seven bands, began Thursday afternoon and continues today with the delivery of equipment such as dumpsters and tents, as well as the assembly of band dressing rooms. Dillo Day is the culmination of Mayfest, which heralds the coming of spring and brings attention to Native-American issues. A concert by the SugerHill Gang on May 11 opened the festival.

The Lakefill will open noon Saturday, with University Police patrolling entrances at the Allen Center and the footbridge behind Norris University Center. The Capability, which won the Battle of the Bands last Thursday, will kick off the concert at 12:30 p.m.

Bands Troubled Hubble, Steel Train, Idlewild, Robert Randolf and the Family Band, Blackalicious and The Crystal Method will continue the daylong concert. Fireworks will accompany the last 15 minutes of The Crystal Method’s set, scheduled to end at 11 p.m.

After two rainy Dillo Days in a row, organizers are hoping clear skies mean a much higher attendance — anywhere from 7,000 to 10,000 — because the rain location, Patten Gym, can only hold about 2,000 people.

If rain forces the concert indoors, students will be required to show WildCARDs to access Patten, with each WildCARD allowing two people access.

“Since it’s a student event, and if we’re doing it with limited capacities, we want to make sure students have some priority or advantage,” said Bockrath, a McCormick sophomore.

The anticipated high attendance means an emphasis on safety and security precautions.

“We’re trying to encourage people to have fun, to be responsible and be safe,” Bockrath said.

According to Rich, 17 University Police officers and at least 15 hired security officers are scheduled to patrol the area.

“We will be enforcing laws regarding alcohol consumption on public streets and sidewalks,” said Daniel McAleer, UP assistant chief. “If we catch you with open alcohol and we find you’re not over the age of 21, you can be cited for that as well.”

Last year UP issued 16 citations and made three arrests on Dillo Day.

Officers have the right to check students’ cups or bottles for alcohol on the Lakefill, and representatives Greek councils have formed a risk management team to patrol the fraternity quads.

Medical emergencies also are a concern. Two ambulances and three paramedic teams will be on site for students requiring medical attention.

“Along with the amount of calls we take for enforcement, we take a significant amount of calls (about) people passed out for either alcohol or drugs,” McAleer said. “The worst thing (people) could possibly do is try and protect (others) from any consequences and not call for any medical assistance. That’s a tragedy waiting to happen.”

Evanston Police Department also will be available if UP needs assistance. Because Evanston is a residential community, the concert speakers must face Lake Michigan, not houses. EPD will step in if it gets too loud, according to Cmdr. Michael Perry of EPD.

The Daily’s Jesse Abrams-Morley, Evan Hessel and Jared Goldberg-Leopold contributed to this report.

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Dillo Day might see clear sky