Applejam Productions, a student group that works to bring live musical acts to campus, has had to deal with increased administrative oversight since their March 31 Mykki Blanco concert ran over time, according to current President of Applejam Katyla Malison.
The Tufts University Police Department (TUPD) entered the Crane Room, the show’s venue, after the concert extended past its midnight curfew. Upon entering, TUPD discovered the event was over capacity and found alcohol present, according to Director of the Office for Campus Life Joe Golia.
“We got no noise complaints or anything,” Malison, a senior, said. “[TUPD] came in because we had been in the Crane Room past curfew, and they shut down the set.” She noted the event ran over curfew because Blanco arrived late due to unforeseen delays.
After the incident, Golia said Applejam leadership met with the Office for Campus Life and Judicial Affairs. Applejam was required to have a police detail for Spring Thing, their last show of the year, which cost the group $300, Malison said.
Malison said Applejam was also required to submit a risk management plan to Director of Community Standards Kevin Kraft.
Golia said after the Mykki Blanco incident, shows have gone better for Applejam.
“Everything went fine for that show, and then they were told that coming back, starting this year, they would have to regroup and look into things like capacity and making sure there was no alcohol at the show,” he said. “At the first show, they were required to have a TUPD officer, but at no cost to them.”
Applejam held a concert on Sept. 9 in the Crane Room. Golia added he was optimistic about lifting the sanctions on Applejam in the near future.
“As long as they’re abiding by the guidelines, we’re suggesting that they don’t need a TUPD officer regularly,” he said.
Golia said there have been a smattering of similar incidents with Applejam throughout the years he has been at Tufts, but he has not had to deal with any major infractions in recent history.
Malison lamented the fact that Applejam does not have a suitable space in which to host events. Malison said the actual capacity of the Crane Room is unclear, and even at its highest potential capacity, is not large enough to accommodate the crowds shows usually draw.
“There are two placards in the Crane Room: one that says it has a capacity of 75, one that says it has a capacity of 90, and when I contacted the fire marshal and he did the calculations, he said the capacity is actually 49 people,” she said.
Golia said he has suggested venues such as Barnum 008 and Hotung Café for Applejam use, but the group has not felt that those spaces would be appropriate for their needs.
“I know they don’t want to be in a classroom,” Golia said. “They’re looking for that quiet, out of the way, darker space. I get that, but we have what we have.”
Malison argued that in comparison to parties hosted at fraternities, Applejam events are tame and more heavily sanctioned.
“Applejam shows seem to me like really safe spaces,” Malison said. “ The main focus of the event is not drinking. It’s listening to music and people sharing art, so we’re pretty disappointed in the way that it’s been.”
Malison added that no one has required medical treatment or ambulance transportation from an Applejam event.
Lucy Maguire, interim vice president of Applejam, said the group’s concerts offer a unique social experience.
“It offers a safe space for students to listen to music and not the mainstream path of what is typical at Tufts,” Maguire, a sophomore, said.
Malison said she hopes that the disciplinary sanctions will not distract from Applejam’s goal, which is to bring small bands to Tufts, and consequently support artists trying to find success in the music industry.
“I really hope all the stuff that’s going on isn’t going to stop Applejam from being what it has always been, which is an alternative space where people can share really great music,” Malison said.