Massive expectations were placed when ASUN’s Biggest Little Festival on campus at the University of Nevada, Reno on April 30 because of the consecutive years without it.
Tickets were $25 for college students and there was a major lack of advertisement for the online ticketing system, which happened to be one of the biggest cons to the festival.
It’s clear that most college students just do not want to buy tickets in-person at the Wolf Shop or at the Lawlor Events Center, so online tickets were needed for the event, but were just hard to find. This was quite obvious due to the underwhelming amount of people at the event.
Something which completely didn’t add up was doors closed for re-entry at 7 p.m., despite tickets being sold till 9 p.m.
The low attendance, huge open spaces of nothingness and lack of safe activities contributed to the lack of attention and excitement most of its attendees had.
On the bright side, the Biggest Little Festival had some good performances that could be compared to picnic styled background music.
The food trucks were good, the event was LGBTQ+ supportive, the workers were kind and attendees could get free drawstring bags with shirts, a mini-fan and a water bottle — an item that strangely they wouldn’t let you bring back in if you left.
Another change of events was when ASUN changed the lineup the day of, removing artist Fivio Foreign and replacing them with artist Earthgang. It was disappointing and felt like a total scam to most people in attendance.
However, the event had great security on hand. Gated around the premise and having bag checks, metal detectors were one of the event’s best concepts, giving the hope of safety and easy access to entrances and exits with wristbands and badges.
Though the security may have been present, it just wasn’t enough to guarantee safety when the ferris wheel — which had to be moved by a worker’s hand — had snapped. Many attendees, including myself, were waiting in line for the wheel when a mass of dust and dirt was kicked up from the wire snapping. As soon as that happened, terror ensued as festival attendees were trapped on the ride.
Many people risked it all and helped the workers push the heavy wheel to let out each car of trapped riders. That’s when the ride uncontrollably started moving at a pace that kept accelerating with no way to control or stop it.
There were people screaming and everyone was panicking at this point. When the wheel finally stopped, it did the exact same thing but in the opposite direction. I was witnessing what could be described as something similar to an event from the film franchise “Final Destination,” which captures brutal injuries and deaths due to structural and vechicular failures.
Luckily, unlike in “Final Destination,” all riders were safely taken off the ride by worried workers and attendees who gained back control of the wheel and spun it until each car was emptied.
“It literally broke and we flew from the top to the bottom. We flew.” said an anonymous scared rider.
The ferris wheel accident was due to immature festival attendees shaking and rattling the cars and was not caused by the workers of the wheel. An accident report was created immediately after the event and the ferris wheel was not reopened, fortunately.
ASUN’s Biggest Little Festival was a dangerous mess that fell below its high expectations and also risked the lives of many despite the investment of good security and food trucks.
Until then, I cannot see myself attending another festival of theirs for a very long time.
Gabe Kanae can be reached ator on Twitter @NevadaSagebrush.
Opinions expressed in The Nevada Sagebrush are solely those of the author and do not necessarily express the views of The Sagebrush or its staff. Gabriel Kanae is a student at the University of Nevada studying journalism. They can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and on Twitter @NevadaSagebrush.