On 19th and 20th of September 2018, a mini-concert was scheduled to be held in front of the futsal field as part of the Autumn Club Festival. Unfortunately, it was raining cats and dogs over the two days, so the performances were canceled. The rain had been predicted several days before, but the Club Association of DKU did not prepare a contingency plan that would prevent its cancellation. The concert was merely delayed and eventually canceled due to incessant rain. This public performance takes a long time to prepare and is held only once a year. Everyone involved made an all-out effort for this mini-concert, but they did not expect a bad ending like this. The Autumn Club Festival is not the only event to have faced last minute challenges that potentially derail the best laid plans. We wanted to know more about these problems and how they were handled, so The Dankook Herald (DKH) conducted interviews with a few members from different campus clubs.
If you are a Dankookian (students of Dankook University), then you must know about the festival Danfesta, held every spring. During this period, there are often weather problems to overcome. Last year, with gloomy forecasts predicted, many Dankookians feared the festival would be canceled. While it wasn’t totally canceled, a lot of events were abandoned or altered for the safety of the students due to the inclement weather.
|▲ Lightings and speakers were covered to prevent the rains from flowing in.|
During the Autumn Club Festival, many clubs have their own booths to self-advertise. Some clubs even have performances prepared to promote themselves. However, this year, The Club Association had not prepared a backup plan in case of rain. So many clubs had to close their booths, missing a great opportunity to recruit new members and supporters. This was a problem because preventing the festival from closing in case of rain was one of the main promises made by The Club Association when they took over. In addition, in the Kakao-Talk chatroom with the club presidents, the subject of weather conditions came up many times, but nobody offered any specific solutions. They just said they would solve the problem if they had to. This lack of preparedness angered many students.
After the Autumn Club Festival ended, the DKH heard many comments from two club presidents in the Department of Performing Arts. They were disappointed they could not make their long-waited performances. Both clubs had been preparing for the Autumn Club Festival for more than 1 month. They saw it as a great opportunity to showcase the kind arts they do. However, they were disappointed when the events were canceled. The performers had to wait all day before they were given the final decision to cancel the event by the Club Association. President of club b pointed out that this was not the first time the association cancelled performances because of rain. Club members had to cancel their busking performances during the last school festival due to rain. With the cancellation of two performances in a row, understandably the morale of members rapidly declined and the overall mood of the club was depressed.
They said, of course, it would be best if the Club Association scheduled performances on a day when it is not raining, but since they cannot control the weather, they need to develop a plan B. President A said that the Association could rent other venues, like indoor theaters in the Humanities Hall or the student theater in Hyedang Hall. Regardless of how many people attend the event, President A thinks the Association has a responsibility to provide the opportunity they promised, as the students prepared for it for numerous days. President B knows that all promoters of school events work hard for a successful result, but much more needs to be done. Students who do not belong to the school club don’t even know when the festival is supposed to take place. B thinks more promotions are needed to improve attendance and also that they need people who are knowledgeable about electronic devices. A person who is in charge of using electrical devices is critical for the success of the performance, too.
The Dankook University Club Association was in charge of running the festival program. When the DKH asked whether they were aware of the forecast for the time of the outdoor performances they said, the plan was made and planned carefully a few weeks before the event. They realized that it could rain during the planning process and that the mid-term forecast at the time was not accurate for the event date, location, rental date, and promotional announcement date with various companies, so they went ahead with the plan.
|▲ This is a picture of many people under umbrellas in the heavy rain at a festival.|
When asked if there was a plan B, in case it rained, the association answered, they were thinking of the student theater as the next best thing. They remember it rained on the last day of the festival in 1st semester and the groups preparing for the performance changed the venue to the indoor student theater for safety reasons. But most club members complained about the static atmosphere and the absence of classmates due to the layout of the student theater. As a result, they decided to stick to the outdoor plan, unless it rained too much.
Lastly, when the DKH asked about what measures are taken to address prevailing weather conditions for upcoming events, the association said, when planning events, Dankookians can plan for weather conditions during the rainy season, but they also have many other things to consider. For the event, you need to prepare several contracts and begin planning a few months before and it is impossible to make double contracts to cover unexpected weather situations. So associations need to change the venue and choose a direction that works regardless of the conditions. Unfortunately, the gym and the student theater are places where it is harder to move around as compared to the outdoors, so changing places is not the best solution either. If you can be certain that it will rain, then you can start planning the event in that place from the ground up, but it is obviously unrealistic to know for certain what the weather will be that many months in advance.
|▲ Singer PSY performing at DANFESTA 2018 and students wearing rain coats due to the rain.|
Through the interview, we learned that the organizers faced a lot of troubles when they were planning the event, how they solved problems, how they dealt with the school and how they understand and sympathize with their members. However, we also learned from club members that they feel the organizers were irresponsible for not being prepared for the rainy weather that was predicted. It is surely the role of the association to strive for the satisfaction of students, despite their organizational difficulties. As we stressed earlier, this has happened before, therefore many people were disappointed and students lost faith in the association. In order to better prepare for future events, the association needs to implement a thorough plan b and strive to restore the trust of the student body. Every association can see this as a lesson and be more vigilant and more aggressive in their actions when planning their events.