COLUMBIA: A Beginner’s Guide to the Baccatastrophe

Take a walk through Columbia’s campus, and chances are that the latest scandal you’ll hear students groaning/shouting/writing angry op-eds about is this year’s spring concert, Bacchanal. Specifically, how no one is able to go to it. If you have no idea what we’re talking about, Columbia student and concerned citizen Haylin Belay’s got your back with a primer on who, what, why, and how to get angry. 

What is Bacchanal?

Ever obsessed with antiquity, Columbia University holds an annual spring concert called Bacchanal. The event, held on Low Steps, the center of campus, is free, unticketed, and open to all students, alumni, and any guests that they wish to bring. Every year, the concert theme consists of a horrible pun involving a reference to the performing artist combined with the word “Bacchanal.” This year, in honor of headliner Big Sean, the theme is “I Don’t Bacch With You.” (I don’t know what this means, either.)

Historically, Bacchanal has been referred to as “the one day that Columbia students get to be happy.” Coming at the tail end of a brutal New York winter, the April concert brings thousands of Columbia students into the main quad, where they drink, dance, and wear crop tops for the first time in six months. Like many outdoor concerts, public intoxication and drug experimentation are key features of the event. This year, Bacchanal will be held on April 4th.

So, what seems to be the problem?