Coordinating the annual Block Party celebration has been a bit of a roller coaster.
Back in October, the university denied the AMS a permit to use Thunderbird Stadium for the event. Permission to host the event at the stadium was later granted on a conditional basis. AMS President Aaron Bailey said that they have been working closely with the university to put the event back on track.
“[Block Party] is going through. We have bi-weekly meetings now,” said Bailey. “Short of a disaster, I don’t think it won’t happen.”
The AMS has agreed to a series of guidelines in order to host the event — it will be for students only, capped at 10,000 people and will end by 9 p.m. A review of the event will take place afterwards as this year’s Block Party will be a trial year.
“We ... will continue to [have] very in-depth consultations with the university, the RCMP and community members,” said Bailey. “A review of the event will make sure that it ran successfully, was safe and [will] ensure that the event can continue in the future.”
On the upswing, a Twitter campaign to get the artist Drake to the event went viral after this confusion over where Block Party could be held. According to Bailey, the AMS has not booked a performer and is still looking — although they wouldn’t specify whether Drake was included in that search.
“We’ve started our search and you can expect maybe some bigger names than what you’ve seen in the past considering the larger scale of the event,” said Bailey. On the upside in terms of Block Party organizing, the AMS approved increasing the $15,000 budget for the concert to almost $80,000 over the summer.
Despite the ups and downs the party has experienced, Block Party will not change in any way other than the size — which will be bigger, according to Bailey.
“It will be the same event, [but] with more people, hopefully better music and a nicer space to host the event,” said Bailey. “More of what students love and want from the AMS.”
Bailey emphasized that the success of this event and whether future Block Parties would be held in Thunderbird Stadium depends on how the event runs this year.
“We’ve been super good about Block Party since its inception, we’ve had so few incidents safety-wise,” said Bailey. “So just keep being a fun community to celebrate with and party safe.”