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The Pitt News

The University of Pittsburgh's Daily Student Newspaper

The Pitt News

The University of Pittsburgh's Daily Student Newspaper

The Pitt News

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Turning Point USA speaker Kristan Hawkins draws protest
Turning Point USA speaker Kristan Hawkins draws protest
By Emma Hannan and Kyra McCague 8:57 am
Fresh Perspective | Final Farewell
By Julia Smeltzer, Digital Manager • 2:23 am

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Turning Point USA speaker Kristan Hawkins draws protest
Turning Point USA speaker Kristan Hawkins draws protest
By Emma Hannan and Kyra McCague 8:57 am
Fresh Perspective | Final Farewell
By Julia Smeltzer, Digital Manager • 2:23 am

Behind the scenes of the Pitt Program Council’s annual Bigelow Bash

Students+dance+during+Carly+Rae+Jepsen%E2%80%99s+performance+during+Bigelow+Bash+on+Bigelow+Boulevard+on+April+1%2C+2023.+
Ethan Shulman | Visual Editor
Students dance during Carly Rae Jepsen’s performance during Bigelow Bash on Bigelow Boulevard on April 1, 2023.

Over 60 student volunteers will get together on April 7 to build the stage where artists JID, Luh Tyler, My Favorite Color and Pitt Factor winner 9FiftySeven will perform. However, the efforts that go into planning Bigelow Bash entail much more.

Bigelow Bash, Pitt’s spring music and arts festival, will take place this Sunday on Schenley Drive. At last year’s Bigelow Bash, hundreds of students came out to see performances by featured artists Claud and Carly Rae Jepsen. 

As excitement builds for the event, Pitt Program Council members are tirelessly working to ensure that this year’s bash will be a memorable experience for Pitt students.

Andrew Pruden, the special events director for the Pitt Program Council and a sophomore political science major, emphasized the meticulous planning process that begins months in advance.

“One of the first steps in the process is picking the headlining artist, which believe it or not, we started doing as soon as Fall Fest was over,” Pruden said. “Then, in addition to that, there are a million other logistical considerations that have to go into planning something as large scale as Bigelow Bash.”

Pruden further spoke about his role as the special events director. Aside from deciding on artists for Bigelow Bash and completing the contract approval process for JID, there are other essential tasks the Program Council needed to complete in preparation for this event.

“In addition to that there’s negotiating or settling contracts with all of our fantastic local food trucks, sourcing the requirements asked for by talent for their hospitality writers, which is the list of items that they ask are in their dressing room, making sure our over 60 volunteers that helped us build the entire stage for the show are taken care of, and are well fed and making sure everybody’s happy,” Pruden said. “And also, on top of all that, building the stage itself, which is really what we pride ourselves in.” 

Looking ahead to the event itself, Pruden expressed his hopes for a lively turnout on Schenley Drive. 

“I would hope that our turnout for this event surpasses previous records that we’ve set,” Pruden said. “My goal is to just get as many people out there in Schenley Drive having a great time.” 

Cassidy Urbancic, a sophomore communications major and public relations committee member, said this is the first time she has worked the Bigelow Bash event. 

“As a member of the PR committee, one of our main jobs is starting to tease the artist. The clues we do on social media and stuff like that would be part of one of the committee meetings,” Urbancic said. “We all sat down together and we created a list of ideas and clues we wanted to do.” 

Urbancic also talked about the structure of the Program Council and how committees play a pivotal role in how responsibilities are divided among members. 

“It’s all fed through different committees. We have the lecture committee, we have the PR committee, special events committee, the arts committee. Each one of those committees all get access to volunteer and help,” Urbancic said. “As long as you’re in one of those committees, you’re more than welcome to come and help and participate.”

Cynthia Cheng, the current public relations director for the Pitt Program Council and a senior psychology and sociology major, said the Bigelow Bash will collaborate with fraternity and sorority life this year.

“Something cool about this year and our prior years of Bigelow Bash is that we actually share the stage with fraternity and sorority life,” Cheng said. “The day before, fraternity and sorority life will host Greek Sing, and so we have their hospitality and efforts to help build the stage for both events and also help to tear down and this process of building the stage and tearing down the stage.”

Cheng also spoke about the long hours and physical labor that go into building the stage. Students will begin to build the stage early in the morning on Friday in anticipation of Greek Sing on Saturday. 

“We will be building the stage at 7 a.m. We will all arrive and we will work the first day until the entire stage and screen is built and that usually lasts until around 10 p.m.,” Cheng said.

Bigelow Bash will begin at 1 p.m. on Sunday, and Cheng said students will take down the stage after the event ends around 6 p.m. 

“We are usually there until around 12 a.m. or even as late as 2 a.m. to tear down the entire stage, brick by brick,” Cheng said. “It’s all done by students, the labor of love is from the Pitt undergraduate students and it’s for the Pitt undergraduate students.”

About the Contributor
Jiya Narwal, Staff Writer