The third annual Fall Fest was a night to remember for most students. Held on the evening of 15 November 2018 from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm, MGCI’s first dance of the year was organized by Social Convenor Sumaya Mohammed and was located at JJ Best Western Banquet Hall. Students came in semi-formal clothes, excited for a night promised to be full of music, dancing, and fun.
Ticket sales began three weeks in advance at lunch in the cafeteria. From 22 to 23 October, tickets were available to students for an “early bird” deal at $23. Afterwards, the price was raised to $26 until 9 November. Guest tickets were sold at a higher price of $29. Various platforms were used to advertise the event during the sales, including morning announcements and social media. All profits made from sales were directed towards organizing the event, including paying for the venue, the DJ, catering, and future dances.
While most students arrived between 6:30 to 7:00 pm, doors opened at 6:00 pm. To attend, students were required to present their tickets as well as their student identification cards. Prior to the event, students submitted song requests and a playlist was made for the DJ. Refreshments were also available throughout the night. Contrary to previous years, no awards were handed out for best and most consistent male and female dancers, best dressed male and female attendees, and cutest couple.
The dance started out smoothly and was well received by students. Grade 12 attendee Tahira Sayed said, “Honestly, [the dance] has been the highlight of my day. It’s been really fun.” Attending the event for the first time, she said that she regretted not coming last year. “It’s a time to have fun. It’s not too formal like [the Semi-Formal], it’s sort of casual and a time to just have fun with your friends.”
Although the dance was originally planned to end at 10:30 pm, Ms. Goldenberg felt the need to stop the festivities early. On multiple occasions, due to inattentive dancers being ignorant of their surroundings, a couple of students had collapsed. She paused the music a couple times, warning students to cease their behaviour, and eventually told students to call their parents around 9 pm. “For half the students, Fall Fest went well,” Mr. Sharp later commented. “For the half who ruined it for the other half, I am sorry to hear that they weren’t willing to make it an event everybody could enjoy… The problem is that there are safety issues. When people in a large mass are jumping around, they’re not paying any attention to anybody else— I guess they call it dancing, I’m not sure. [The staff] are responsible for everyone’s safety… and we had a couple people stepped on tonight. We have to make sure that people can have a good time safely, and when you have a group of people who, no matter what you say, will not listen to the safety concerns that we as the administrators have, then you really have no other choice but to stop the event.”
This is not the first time a major school event has been concluded prematurely. Many were upset to discover that the ever-popular International Show will likely be cancelled this year due to the fire alarm being unexpectedly pulled near the end of last year’s show. Students’ behaviour had also been addressed by Ms. Goldenberg during the middle of last year’s Fall Fest. After these recent incidents, students are left wondering whether the administrators will feel obliged to cancel future events as well.
Michelle Mackie, a member of SAC, summarized the night afterwards: “It went well at the beginning, and then people just got carried away.” Despite the unfortunate mishap, most students and teachers agreed that the event was fun, well-organized and ran successfully. Fall Fest 2018 was truly an unforgettable experience.