The Daily Northwestern

Mayfest announces plans for second stage, Dillo Village

Mayfest leaders Wil Heintz, Patrick Leonard, Neil Mehta and Victoria Zuzelo make their case before Associated Student Government senators Tuesday night for additional funding to establish a

Marshall Cohen/Daily Senior Staffer

Mayfest leaders Wil Heintz, Patrick Leonard, Neil Mehta and Victoria Zuzelo make their case before Associated Student Government senators Tuesday night for additional funding to establish a "Dillo Village" on the Lakefill. ASG approved their proposal, which will feature a second stage and amusements.

Cat Zakrzewski, Campus Editor

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Although Mayfest has not yet announced this year’s Dillo Day performers, it has several new plans in store, including a second stage and more amenities for attendees.

Mayfest representatives said the new stage will feature smaller acts, particularly during set changes on the main stage. They also hope The Dillo Village, which is planned for Lakeside Field, will keep students near the Lakefill throughout the daylight hours of the music festival.

The funding for the new stage and Dillo Village was secured Wednesday night during Associated Student Government’s Senate meeting. Two years ago, ASG rejected Mayfest’s request for $9,000 for a second stage that would have featured student bands.

“From a risk management perspective … the focus of all efforts every year is to bring students to the Lakefill and keep them there and engaged,” said Wil Heintz, Mayfest co-chair. “We’re always looking to bring the best acts and the most relevant artists. … The second stage will also keep students on the Lakefill rather than going back off-campus.”

Although Heintz, a Weinberg senior, said the plans for the second stage remain tentative, the group is considering a variety of more inexpensive attractions, ranging from yoga instructors to Chicago-area improv groups.

After finalizing the artists for the main stage, Mayfest may pursue bringing in a Chicago performer if it has enough funds left over. Patrick Leonard, Mayfest production co-chair, said the group is also in discussions with several student performance groups but has not yet confirmed any acts for June 1.

“It’s all still pending,” said Leonard, a McCormick junior.

In addition to the new stage, Dillo Village will feature a henna tattoo artist, face painting, a hookah tent, hemp bracelets, a photo booth, body painting, tie dye and a new cell phone-charging station. Heintz said the only offering Mayfest has sponsored in the past that will not be returning this year is cotton candy.

Heintz said Mayfest has been tinkering with the village idea for two years, and the organization came back to ASG this week with a more realistic request after rethinking the second stage in the fall. On Wednesday night, Mayfest requested $2,500 to fund the physical stage, the sound system and the labor required to set up everything. ASG passed the motion unanimously following a shortened debate period.

“The overriding thing is we always want to be supporting student efforts and programming,”ASG president Ani Ajith said.

The Weinberg junior said the new stage will improve student safety and encourage Dillo Day attendees to “gravitate” near the stage instead of heading off campus.

“The fact of the matter is, it was really cool,” Ajith said. “I think the Senate definitely agreed.”

Leonard said Mayfest is also looking to make food trucks more accessible to attendees this year.

Mayfest plans to expand the beer garden, which began in 2011. In an attempt to attract more NU graduates, Heintz said the garden will feature a new designated alumni section. The beer garden will also expand its offerings to include food for the first time.


About the Writer
Cat Zakrzewski, In Focus Editor

Cat Zakrzewski is the In Focus editor of The Daily and a Medill junior. Her past positions include assistant summer editor, Campus editor, Holiday Guide...