Updated: Dillo Day guest wristband distribution suspended


Nathan Richards/Daily Senior Staffer

Medill freshman Haley Smith talks with Mayfest staff after receiving her wristband for Saturday’s event. Students who attempted to pick up their wristbands earlier in the day were met with long wait times.

Tyler Pager, Assistant Campus Editor

Guest wristband distribution for Dillo Day has been suspended, Mayfest announced Wednesday afternoon.

Mayfest officials said distribution was suspended to ensure every Northwestern student could receive a wristband. Wristbands are guaranteed for all students.

“The Northwestern undergraduate student body is our main and primary constituency,” Mayfest co-chair Xander Shepherd said. “We are required to make sure they benefit from Dillo Day.”

Wristband distribution for faculty, staff and Evanston residents has ended, Mayfest announced Thursday afternoon.

A waitlist for guest wristbands will open at 7 a.m. Friday outside Norris University Center. Students can register one guest for the waitlist. The waitlist does not guarantee a wristband, but if wristbands become available, they will be distributed on a first-come-first-served basis. Guests do not have to be present to be signed up for the waitlist nor to pick up a wristband.

Mayfest officials are encouraging students to return guest wristbands they have already picked up if their guests will not be attending the festival.

Victoria Zuzelo, Mayfest’s director of university relations, said capacity on the Lakefill became an issue this year because construction of the building for the Kellogg School of Management took away one of the available areas to enter and exit the festival.

“It’s not the size of the actual Lakefill,” the Weinberg senior said. “It’s actually the exit space. In case of an emergency, we need to ensure that all students can get out safely and quickly and that is why we have had to limit the number of people into Dillo Day this year and why we have had to give priority to students.”

Students have expressed concerns about NU faculty, staff and Evanston residents being allowed to register up to four guests, while students could only register two guests.

However, Zuzelo said these three constituencies are grouped together for wristband purposes and there were five times more wristbands available for students’ guests than the combined total of wristbands for non-Northwestern students.

As of Wednesday afternoon, 4,119 student wristbands have been distributed, she said.

Zuzelo added students registered more guests than Mayfest expected.

“Students are registering twice as many guests as we anticipated, which is why this seems sort of abrupt,” she said. “We had more guests register yesterday than all the other days of distribution combined.”

Mayfest already decreased the number of wristbands available for non-NU students to accommodate more guests.

Communication junior Sam Garrott was unable to secure a wristband for his guest, who is flying in from Austin, Texas for Dillo Day.

“She is my friend from home and she has had a $400 plane ticket and if it doesn’t work out it would be really unfortunate,” he said. “I’m not angry at Mayfest. It’s just a frustrating situation.”

Garrott said he was standing in line to pick up wristbands around 2 p.m. when he received an email from Mayfest that said distribution of guest wristband had been suspended. He said he was disappointed because he was not given warning that there was a shortage of guest wristbands prior to the email.

He said he hopes, if more guest wristbands become available, Mayfest figures out a fair way to distribute them.

“If there are people that have put hundreds of dollars into coming and they can’t go, that’s really unfortunate,” he said. “I’d love it if they can prioritize people that are decidedly out-of-town.”

This is the first year wristbands have been required for all Dillo Day attendees. NU students can continue to pick up wristbands at the designated locations and times.

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