April 25, 2001

Rock Band Stroke 9 to Play At Alcohol-Free Slope Fest

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This year at Slope Fest, the alcohol-free alternative to Slope Day, Cornellians can contemplate Stroke 9’s “Nasty Little Thoughts” as they eat free food, receive giveaways and ride the inflatable slide and obstacle course that grace West Campus to mark the end of the spring semester.

Stroke 9, a national recording artist whose 1999 debut album includes the songs “Little Black Backpack” and “Letters,” appeared in director Ron Howard’s satirical film “EdTV.” Their music delivers “disarming guitar pop with a strong rhythmic undertow,” according to the group’s official website.

“We’re really excited that they [Stroke 9] have agreed to come play. We think it’s going to add to the celebration,” said Diane Horey ’02, president of the Slope Fest Planning Committee.

Stroke 9, which was nominated for Outstanding Debut Album at the Tower Records California Music Awards last year, will perform at 3:30 p.m. Damn Brandy will take the stage at noon, and Agent Double 00 is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. DJ Hype will also play at various times throughout the day.

Slope Fest is sponsored by the Slope Fest Planning Committee, and Stroke 9 is sponsored by the Cornell Concert Commission. Slope Fest is carrying a $75,000 price-tag this year.

“Slope Fest was started three years ago as an opportunity for students to hear music and enjoy other entertainment on West Campus. It is a response to student requests for more things to do on the slope than drink,” said Timothy Marchell ’82, director of Substance Abuse Services at Gannett: University Health Services.

Music was disallowed on Slope Day after 1995 because there were “numerous health issues that year,” according to Claire Ackerman ’01, treasurer of the Slope Fest Planning Committee.

Gannett and other health facilities in the area were overwhelmed in 1995 with the number of students who were sick from alcohol poisoning, Ackerman said. The administration felt that the music was drawing the large numbers of people to Slope Day and thus aggravating the number of health problems.

This is of concern, “because of the simple fact that alcohol poisoning can be fatal,” Marchell said.

But in 1998, the Slope Day Advisory Committee created new guidelines, including the six-pack of beer or equivalency limit per each 21-year-old on Libe Slope, Ackerman said. They also created the carnival named Slope Fest, which is now organized by the Slope Fest Planning Committee.

Last year 5,000 students came to Slope Fest, and approximately 250 volunteers helped out with the event.

“Within the last two to three years, the number of volunteers has doubled. We’ve gotten a lot of support from students, staff, and faculty,” Ackerman said.

Archived article by Inna Bruter