Local bands wish to play at Saddleback’s McKinney theatre

Kara Williangham

College life is rumored to be full of studying, sports, partying, hanging out with friends and concerts.

At many college campuses there are amphitheaters or venues where live concerts are held. A numerous amount of students at Saddleback have noticed, and found displeasing, the lack of popular music around the school. The pupils question whether the fact that the McKinney theatre does not allow for local bands to perform in their area is accountable for this mishap.

Fellow Saddleback student Wade Fitzgerald, 19, undecided is a member of the band Heavy Heart Revival and is curious as to why there is not student entertainment in the school’s theatre.

“There are millions of local bands that would do anything to play a show there are really no music venues in Orange County,” said Fitzgerald. “A lot of places are 21 and over only. Except for Hogue Barmichaels and Chain Reaction, there’s really nothing in South County.”

“The scarce availability of the McKinney Theater is the main reason why student bands or other local bands are not performing at the college,” said Fitzgerald. He proposed the brilliant idea of inviting local bands to play at the McKinney Theater on weekend nights to raise money for the college or for charities.

“We live in such a big community; why not have a venue that’s right in the middle,” said Fitzgerald. “Seven bands could play on a Friday night and pack the place. Look what it’s doing for San Diego. State kids go to concerts all the time and they sell out.”

Other students remain curious as to why the college does not allow bands to play.

“Its not a question if people are allowed,” said Rocky Cifone, Dean of Fine Arts. “This is a college facility whose main purpose is to provide an environment for instruction.”

There is a detailed process a performer must go through in order to reserve the theater for a night.

“We do have a rental policy for off campus parties if they want to use the facility for the evening,” said Cifone. “If a band wants to perform on campus they need a million dollar insurance writer and they must go through the master calendar in Presidents office.”

“The master calendar is filled up approximately 18 months in advance.” said Cifone. “A fee must be paid to the college to rent out the space.”

The Fine Arts Department is not the only area on campus that is rented out by other parties. The football field is occupied by local high schools as well. The McKinney Theater is Saddleback’s largest available space for performances. Many clubs and departments reserve a night for an event there every semester.

“It’s complex because you’re dealing with public facilities that first and foremost has to service the educational purpose of the college,” said Cifone. “We have never denied anybody that can meet the criteria access [to the theater].”

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