Evanston, Northwestern representatives talk Dillo Day app, new initiatives at Community Conversations event


Nathan Richards/Daily Senior Staffer

Tori Zuzelo, university relations chair for Mayfest, explained several updates about Dillo Day during a Community Conversations event. Mayfest representatives announced the launch of a smartphone application for Dillo Day at the conversation Tuesday night alongside representatives from the Northwestern and Evanston communities.

Paige Leskin, Assistant City Editor

Mayfest representatives announced the launch of a smartphone application for Dillo Day at a dialogue on Tuesday night with representatives from the Northwestern and Evanston communities.

The application will provide users with a detailed timeline of the events of Dillo Day, as well as the music lineup and a shuttle schedule, Mayfest co-chair Patrick Leonard said.

“That is going to be for us a really useful tool to make sure that we’re communicating with everyone in the community that day of,” said Leonard, a McCormick senior. “We’re just making sure that it’s a centralized source of information for anybody that is either an Evanston resident or a guest of somebody.”

The announcement came at a Community Conversations event, hosted in Fall and Spring Quarters with the goal of connecting off-campus students and their neighbors through a discussion about city issues. Attendees included Evanston and NU policemen, aldermen, representatives of Associated Student Government and Mayfest and University staff, who talked about plans for Dillo Day and the end of the academic year.

Leonard said he hoped the smartphone app and other changes will allow the music festival to run more safely and smoothly. Mayfest staff will also be able to send out notifications through the app to provide people with updates in the event of inclement weather, he said.

“This year, we’re really focused on making sure we’re giving people as much information as we think they need, and that’s something that hasn’t necessarily been done in the past,” Leonard said. “I think that it’ll help spark a shift in sort of the way people interact and behave,” he said.

Among the modifications for Dillo Day are the revised wristband policies, which restrict attendees to those from the NU community, their personal guests and Evanston residents over the age of 19, unless accompanied by a chaperone.

(Mayfest revises wristband policies, limits festival access in new entrance policies)

Dean of Students Todd Adams discussed an initiative to have Dillo Day events run more continuously, with the goal of keeping students on the Lakefill as much as possible and not wandering through the city.

“We’re moving the activities closer into where the people are, the core of the venue … in an effort to really concentrate the programming that we’ve got throughout the day,” Leonard said. “There are a lot more opportunities for people to really experience the festival atmosphere.”

As part of centering events around the Lakefill, Mayfest leaders said the organization will continue to provide students access to Norris, smartphone charging stations and various food options, including a free breakfast before and after the music festival.

In addition to the second performance stage, introduced last year, Dillo Day will feature a new rotating main stage.

Representatives from both the Evanston and NU police departments shared their input on ensuring the health and safety of Dillo Day attendees. The app will feature a quick-touch button to call 911 in the case of emergency, Mayfest co-chair Xander Shepherd said.

Anthony Kirchmeier, director of off-campus life, said meetings between Evanston and NU community members are integral in keeping the relationship strong and getting past any problems that develop.

“We need some kind of forum to discuss these issues in a constructive way,” he said. “It’s good to have them in the same room offering different perspectives.”

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