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Street signs at the corner of Mill and Palmer streets in Athens, March 29, 2024.

Students, alumni share Fest Season advice

The 2024 Fest Season is underway and Ohio University students are eager to party and enjoy the warm, sunny weather. Each Fest Season brings a fun and exciting atmosphere to campus; however, those who choose to participate in the festivities should also remain responsible and safe. 

According to a previous Post article, Fest Season was originally an OU-sponsored event in the 1980s. OU alumni celebrated "Spring Fest” and viewed it as the most popular and anticipated event of the year. The event was held on the South Green side of campus and included live music, vendors and several keg stands.

Mike Webb, OU class of ‘86, was the booking director and pop concert committee chair for Spring Fest 1986 and said coordinating the event was one of his favorite memories because of the connections he made. 

“I am still friends with most of the people on that committee,” said Webb. “I made friends for life on that committee.” 

Webb said the university wanted to cancel Spring Fest 1986 because the previous year did not sell enough keg stands due to the bad weather. However, Webb said the committee pulled through and his favorite memory was seeing the event come together. 

“From the stage being set up, the bands coming in (and) performing, just the fact that OU students had an opportunity to put on a major production (was the best part),” said Webb. 

Fest Season has evolved throughout the years; however, one aspect has remained the same: the importance of student safety. Each fest brings thousands of students together, creating packed streets and an exciting, yet sometimes hectic atmosphere. 

Sofia Baris, a sophomore studying integrated social studies and education, discussed tips for those experiencing their first Fest Season. 

“Make sure you know who you are going with,” said Baris. “Make sure you have a general idea of where you’re going or a layout of what you’re planning on doing with the time and make sure that if you’re drinking, your drink is always in your hand or covered.” 

Baris said the streets are crowded and there can be poor internet connection, so attending the parties with a trusted group of friends is important in case of an emergency. 

Along with staying close to friends, handling and consuming alcohol responsibly is important to enjoy Fest Season. Fun-flavored BORGs or canned drinks are common, and to stay out of trouble, students should be aware of their surroundings. 

Paige Boughambouz, a senior studying psychology, shared advice for those planning to drink. 

“I feel like cans are a lot better of a bet than a BORG because a BORG is considered an open container,” said Boughambouz. “If you have your BORG and you’re leaving a party or a party gets shut down and you’re walking down the street with your BORG, you’re more likely to get stopped.” 

Boughambouz said the intentions of police officers are often misunderstood and those attending parties should remain under control to avoid problems with the law. 

“The cops are standing right there, they just want us to have fun,” said Boughambouz. “At the end of the day, they want us to be safe and not completely break the law. Just don’t be stupid.” 

Fest Season is a time for students to have fun and spend time with friends. Baris said her best advice for those participating in Fest Season is to understand their limits and enjoy the experience. 

“If you don’t know your limits and you do stuff that potentially could be dangerous for you and other people, it kind of hampers the fun of what Fest Season could potentially be for yourself or for others,” said Baris. “(If you) just make sure that you know your limits and you know where you’re comfortable being, then it has the potential to become a really fun experience.”


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