By Nick Parker
What is the significance behind the holiday known as 4/20? One idea would have been shared through a drug-free concert themed and titled “Living Is Beautiful,” scheduled for last Friday.
The concert was going to feature hip-hop artists Zion-I in the Kresge Town Hall. However, the UC Santa Cruz administration and police shut down the concert because of a communication failure.
It is impossible to know exactly where the lines were crossed and what assumptions were made in the conversations regarding the approval of the event.
But Thomas Cussins, co-founder of Ineffable Records and manager for the concert, insists that he had received spoken confirmation from the Kresge Town Hall administrator, Lauren Swanson, that the event was authorized.
“We wanted to make sure everything was in accordance with policy before we booked the artists and started selling tickets,” Cussins said.
According to Mike Yamauchi-Gleason, college administrative officer of Kresge and Porter Colleges, there was no miscommunication, and the guidelines were clearly violated. These violations are what contributed to the cancellation.
“My staff gave Mr. Cussins all the information that he needed,” Yamauchi-Gleason said.
Swanson was unable to comment.
Many students were upset when they learned the concert was canceled.
“I was really bummed,” Jacob Gross, a UCSC student, said. “It looked like a great show, and I had already bought my tickets.”
In fact, the concert was shut down after a significant amount of promotional material was posted hyping the concert, and over 100 tickets had already been sold both on and off campus.
According to Yamauchi-Gleason, this was one of the main discrepancies with the concert.
“Promoters are not allowed to sell tickets off campus for an on-campus event,” he said. “Nor are they allowed to sell tickets to non-UCSC students.”
This criterion was one of the many that Cussins argued was discussed and deemed admissible for this particular show.
“They shut it down because when they saw the posters they assumed it was drug-related, because it said 420 in large letters,” Cussins said. “Actually, we specifically made a point to have a drug-free show. We even hired our own security guards.”
In support of his claim that Cussins had the proper information about the policy violations beforehand, Yamauchi-Gleason cited the UCSC Major Events Policy. While this document does not directly state that tickets are not to be sold off campus to non-UCSC students, it does give the administrators and the police the authority to shut it down.
The UCSC Major Events Policy states, “University Police or Facilities Manager reserve the right to terminate any event due to a disturbance of the peace, unlawful activity, violation of university policy, concern for the safety of person or property, or concern for the security of the university.”
One of Yamauchi-Gleason’s main arguments is that the Kresge administration did not approve of the promotional material beforehand, and that the specific policy violations were, “implied in the text.”
Yamauchi-Gleason said that the UCSC Administration would be “reviewing [their] policies” and would be “more explicit in the future.”