Getting down and dirty
Wildcat File Photo
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Blink 182's stage crew scrambles to save the band's equipment from Friday night's powerful monsoon. The show was canceled due to the weather but the band will possibly return at a later date.
More than 300 Blink 182 fans sloshed in puddles and threw mud when late afternoon monsoons rained out CatFest, the last event of the UA's Wildcat Welcome.
Strong winds began to blow dust and rain mid-afternoon, toppling over one speaker stack and sending roadies scrambling to support the other and to cover sound boards and equipment.
The fans, mostly high schoolers who gathered on the University of Arizona Mall to listen to the punk band, were quick to create an impromptu mudslide, said Cisco Aguilar, ASUA's executive vice president.
"I tried to break up the (sliding) pit, but I was pelted with mud," he said.
Although ASUA members announced twice that the concert was canceled, the majority of the fans, who had been gathering since 4 p.m., stayed put. University police officers dispersed the crowd via loudspeaker at about 7:20 p.m.
"We've got a big storm coming in here," announced officer Louie Olivarria. "We are asking you to leave the area." Oli-varria's orders brought a cheer from the rain-soaked crowd.
Officers then turned spotlights on the group, gathered mostly in front of the Memorial Student Union, which brought a shout of disdain from the mud-soaked throng.
Most of the crowd began to leave, but some sought sanctuary inside the Student Union while others huddled under tarps and ignored the officers.
Although heavy rain stopped by 6:30 p.m., the band's equipment had already been soaked. Fear of "short outs" prevented the band from continuing with the show, ASUA President Tara Taylor said.
"We offered them to play in one of the ball rooms (inside the Student Union), but they felt without all their equipment, they'd play an unsatisfactory show," she said.
Blink 182's "roady manager" said he was 99 percent sure the band will reschedule. ASUA members and Evening Star Productions producers today will discuss compensation for the band and a possible return date, Taylor said.
Thomas Kennedy can be reached via e-mail at Thomas.Kennedy@ wildcat.arizona.edu.