Solarfest has been a tradition at Keene State College for many years. Students had the opportunity to hang out on Oya Hill and enjoy live music while the sun shines down on a warm April day. However, this year Solarfest hit some unexpected trouble. On Saturday, April 27, Solarfest moved their event into the Mabel Brown Room of the Student Center.
Some believe that rather than moving the event, which is traditionally held outside, inside, the event coordinators should have rescheduled for a day with nicer weather. The event gains a lot of foot traffic from people walking around on campus and back and forth from their residence halls. However, due to the event being inside, Solarfest saw low attendance. This could have been due to people not even knowing it had been moved into the Student Center. Moving an event indoors that is traditionally outside can be difficult to market to the campus on such last minute notice, especially if the majority of the student body didn’t know about the change. Though the event was just moved and not cancelled, there was not enough marketing to show that the event was moved inside, which means students were not aware of the changed location.
An event that is inside is not as popular than an event held outside because of the lack of activities and the isolated location in one particular room. Solarfest missed out on the “wow” factor because of the location of where it was; keeping it outside on Appian way would have brought in many more students because they have to walk through this street to get to any other building on campus. Having an event outside feels more inviting to the student body than having an event inside, which feels more exclusive.
The event also took place on one of the last Saturdays of the semester, which competed with a lot of other annual events around Keene. The day that was chosen for the Solarfest was also the same day as “Walk a Mile in her Shoes” and a visit from a potential presidential candidate Kirsten Gillibrand. The date that was picked was also Admitted Students Day for potential first-years and the thought was to bring in new incoming first-years to the event to show them what Keene State can offer. Unfortunately, that did not go as planned either because of the lack of participants.
The initiative was there, but unfortunately last minute problems that arose made the event seem like a flop.