Concise Encyclopedia of Tufts History
Spring Fling, 1980
Spring Fling is a weekend-long celebration held every April on the Medford Campus. Spring Fling events include a comedy show, block parties, and a concert held on the President's Lawn.
Spring Fling was held for the first time in 1980, when the TCU Senate discovered a large budget surplus at the end of the year. The senate decided to spend the money on a university wide celebration to mark the end of the year. The first Spring Fling, somewhat more tame than those to come, included a SPIRIT picnic, a farewell address from departing Dean Bernie Harleston, a concert on the President's lawn, and the Jumbo Stampede, a ten kilometer road race through Medford and Somerville. Organizers also set up and ran twenty-two seminars on contemporary subjects, held outside on a Friday afternoon. Tufts Day Care also participated, holding a flea market on the library roof, and AppleJam and WMFO brought Zion Initiative to campus for a smaller concert.
Over the years, Spring Fling has grown to include more recognized bands and many more students. A Thursday comedy show, which has featured such nationally known acts as Bobcat Goldthwait and Jim Breuer, was added to the celebration in 1982.
Although generally a successful and popular event, Spring Fling has experienced its share of problems. In 1984, five non-Tufts students were arrested at the concert for public drunkenness and fighting. In 1985, to combat such problems, the President's Lawn was fenced off, and students were required to present identification before entering. Also, consumption of alcohol at the concert was regulated, with students allowed only one six-pack of beer each. In previous years, kegs had been set up on the lawn, and alcohol consumption was widespread.
In 1986, Spring Fling experienced its first major weather setback. Due to rainy weather, the concert was moved to Nine Lansdowne, a nightclub near Kenmore Square. As a result, attendance was poor, because students did not want to commute to see the concert. Since then, a large tent has covered the stage at Spring Fling, and Cousens Gym now serves as the rain location. As of 2000, Spring Fling remains the most popular student event on campus. The annual concert attracts thousands, and the weekend gives students a chance for a last fling before final exams begin.
Past Spring Fling Line-Ups
1980 - Pousette Dart, Willie Nineger Band, The Beelzebubs 1981 - Pousette Dart, Jams Montgomery Band, NRBQ 1982 - Clarence Clemons, Chubby Checker, Red Bank Rockers 1983 - Evelyn "Champagne" King, NRBQ, The Kool Rays 1984 - The Stompers, Junior Walker and the All-Stars 1985 - The Busboys, 'Til Tuesday 1986 - Ministry, Scruffy the Cat, Plate O' Shrimp 1987 - The Smithereens, The Bongos, Plate O' Shrimp 1988 - Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble, Treat Her Right 1989 - The Robert Cray Band, Ivan Neville and the Rooms, Plan B 1990 - The Band, Barrence Whitfield and the Savages 1991 - Cheap Trick, Heretix 1992 - Blues Traveler, Shinhead, Urban Blight 1993 - Violent Femmes, Lemonheads, Digable Planets, 1994 - They Might Be Giants, Brian Dewan, Queen Latifah, Thumper 1995 - B.B. King, Brand Nubian, Denny Dent and His Two Fisted Art Attack, Buffalo Tom 1996 - George Clinton, The Violent Femmes, moe. 1997 - A Tribe Called Quest, Barenaked Ladies, G. Love and the Special Sauce 1998 - LL Cool J, Maceo Parker, Amazing Royal Crowns, Hall's Corner Band 1999 - Ben Folds Five, Sugar Hill Gang, Cherry Poppin' Daddies, Brother Chameleon 2000 - The Roots, Better Than Ezra, Reel Big Fish - 2001 Guster, Original P, Jurassic Five 2002 - Moe., Toots and the Maytals, Mob Deep - 2003 Busta Rhymes, Reel Big Fish 2004 - The Roots, Less than Jake, Sugar Hill Gang.
Source: Obs, TJ, TD