SPB adds programming to week of WILD

| News Editor

WILD Week, a series of events organized by Social Programming Board leading up to and following WILD this Friday, kicked off Sunday with a screening of the season six premiere of “Game of Thrones” in Tisch Commons.

Spanning from Sunday, April 24 to Monday, May 2, the week of festivities includes multiple film screenings and concerts, the semifinals of a nationwide entrepreneurship competition, the chance for students to float above Mudd Field in a hot-air balloon and an extended traditional pre-WILD Happy Hour.

Although the WILD Happy Hour and concert are familiar fixtures, many of the other events are new with an added, expanded week of programming.

“We’re trying to make it more legitimate this year and expand it to a whole week, as opposed to three to four days of events,” SPB president and junior Rahool Bhimani said. “What’s nice about this week is that it doesn’t have to be the same every year or semester, because although there are obviously traditions like WILD and Happy Hour, the other days of events are really open to what the [SPB exec] board thinks is going to get a good response.”

This freedom allowed the board to schedule a diverse set of events, including two screenings, the first of which was the showing of “Game of Thrones’” season six premiere.

Freshman Abheek Raviprasad attended the screening, and noted that he enjoyed watching the episode with peers.

“It was a great time watching the season premier with so many ‘[Game of] Thrones’ lovers,” he said. “This episode didn’t reveal too much as far as where the season is going, but it should be exciting.”

The week will also include an early April 27 showing of “Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping,” an upcoming comedy film starring actor Andy Samberg about a rapper forced to rejoin his old boy band. Bhimani noted that the screenings provide programming options for students who prefer more relaxed events.

“Screenings are kind of low-key,” he said. “They’re a fun way for people to come hang out and get something to eat before the show. It’s kind of different from a lot of our other events, kind of smaller but always a good time.”

In between the two screenings will be the RECESS semifinals competition on April 26, a national entrepreneurial competition in the style of TV’s “Shark Tank.” Washington University start-up Foodshare won the RECESS campus qualifier at Wash. U. on April 7 and will be compete in the semifinal. A free concert at the Pageant by rapper Tory Lanez will follow the competition.

Finally, an extended Thursday pre-WILD Happy Hour precedes the week’s marquee concert on Friday, April 29.

This year’s Happy Hour will also be doubled in length to accommodate the steadily increasing number of attendees each semester, according to a statement released by SPB.

WILD director and sophomore Nick Koutrakis noted that this growing tradition serves as the final opportunity to excite students for the concert.

“The tradition comes the night before WILD, and it’s always kind of buzzing,” he said. “Now that we’re seeing bigger Happy Hours than ever before, I think everything’s going to climax at the Happy Hour before WILD.”

The festivities will continue after the central concert, which will be headlined by the All-American Rejects in Brookings Quadrangle on Friday, with a final event on May 2 that will feature a barbecue and free hot-air balloon rides above Mudd Field.

“[We’re] hoping to get a couple hundred people up in cycles,” Bhimani said. “It’s something different compared to what we’ve done in the past; I think it’s something that most people haven’t done before.”