The question is at the tip of everybody’s tongue: what on earth is Mallard Madness? As the University’s annual Spring Street Faire kicks off today, many students are still baffled by the giant posters declaring “Explore, Create, Discover” tacked around the Erb Memorial Union.
What’s the difference between Mallard Madness and the Willamette Valley Music Festival? Who’s in charge of it all? Why should I care? And most importantly, why is there an angry duck on all of these posters?
“I would describe [Mallard Madness] as an umbrella hovering over multiple events,” PR Representative Lex Chase says. “So we have the Street Faire, the KWVA Birthday Bash, the Native American Student Union Powwow, the Willamette Valley Musical Festival, live art on campus and so on.”
Chase and student organizer Geoff Nudelman spoke to the problems surrounding campus unity and school spirit. “I have this phrase I say… it’s ‘find your Duck swag,’” Chase half-jokes. “We just felt that there’s a lack of unity on campus. Duck football is great, but it’s just one aspect of what this campus has to offer.”
And boy does it have a lot to offer. Starting with the mania surrounding the Street Faire, there will be interactive art murals, pedal-powered performances from the Outdoor Program’s Bike Music Fest and a cameo from basically every major student group. Most exciting is the hosting of RJD2, A-Trak and Yeasayer on the Willamette Valley Music Festival’s main stage Friday and Saturday.
“Every college brings Weezer, every college brings Snoop Dogg, you know… but we didn’t want to do what every other college did,” Nudelman says. “And when we thought about these bands, these specific bands,” Chase interjects, “it creates a situation where you get two people standing together at a concert that wouldn’t normally stand together.” Nudelman nods in agreement: “There’s this famous rapper, this huge indie act and an amazing producer/DJ and that brings a lot of diverse people together. So we’re trying to diversify and unify.”
But most of all, the events encompassed by Mallard Madness’ umbrella are about having a good time. “We wanted to book bands that students are passionate about,” Chase says, “so Mallard Madness is simply trying to put all these events together in one big party.”
If you’re still confused about what Mallard Madness is, visit their website.
The Street Faire runs from Wednesday May 4 to Saturday May 7 and includes various vendors, student unions, campus publications and food booths.
The KWVA Birthday Bash kicks off at 8 p.m. in the EMU Amphitheatre with Secret Whistle and Tyree Harris opening for headliner RJD2. To apply for a free student membership pass, email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
The Willamette Valley Musical Festival runs from 12 p.m. to 12 a.m. Saturday May 7 and will feature performances from Yeasayer, A-Trak, Baths and various other bands. For more information as well as a detailed schedule, check this funky jive.
The Bike Music Fest will be put on by the University of Oregon Outdoor Program and will run from 12 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday May 7. Performances will be 100% pedal-powered. For more information check out the Facebook event page here.
The Native American Student Union will be hosting its 44th Annual Mother’s Day Powwow at the Mac Court May 7 and 8 from 7-11:30 p.m. and 12-11:30 p.m. respectively. For more information check this out or the recent coverage on the UO website.