New Movie and Music Festival Provides Alternative to State Patty’s Day
Students will have something besides alcohol to occupy their time this State Patty’s Day. A movie and film festival called THAW, which will have events throughout town and campus, is in the works for the weekend of Feb. 28-March 1, according to Arts Fest Director and event planner Rick Bryant.
For music, the festival has invited Jared Leto’s Thirty Seconds to Mars, Zooey Deschanel’s She and Him, Jack White, Jack Black’s Tenacious D, and Kevin Bacon’s band Bacon Brothers to come play in the festival, according to the Daily Collegian, which first reported the news. Some of those acts are in the final stages of the booking process. About 50 “Sundance-quality” movies will premiere over the weekend, too. Bryant said the music acts will appeal to all age demographics, and some comedy acts will also make an appearance during the weekend in between THON and Spring Break.
“We’ve had a goal, to eliminate major problems, to clear out the room to allow a festival that would be of appeal to all residents of the community,” Borough Manager Tom Fountaine said.
Planning for THAW began after last State Patty’s Day, when a task force wanted an event that would display a “celebration that showcases the best that Penn State and State College have to offer.” Another goal was to avoid having to pay bars to close, which remains part of the plan.
THAW will be both an on- and off-campus event, according to Bryant. The Bryce Jordan Center, State Theatre, Schlow Library, and downtown churches should all host events during the weekend. It’ll have various ticket prices, as some events will be free and others will have a charge, including hotel packages.
According to the Collegian, the festival will support Best Buddies, a nonprofit that benefits the mentally challenged. A section of the festival will host mentally challenged actors and artists, who will host question-and-answer sessions.
Part of the reason for the name is the time of the year during which it will fall as winter begins to warm up, Bryant said. THAW’s planning committee includes Vice President for Student Affairs Damon Sims, Levels Nightclub Manager Tim Crockett, Fountaine, and Bryant.
“I don’t know that the purpose is to discourage drinking,” Fountaine said. “The issue is [State Patty’s Day] was an event that was solely built around high risk and dangerous drinking, and the only purpose for that event was to consume alcohol at dangerous levels. We were seeing incidents involving alcohol overdose. The day spilled into friday. The purpose of the replacement event isn’t to discourage drinking but it to give a better option.”