Set-up begins for Festival of Books at USC

As the university prepares to host the largest book festival in the country, the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books, preparations are being made around campus.

Sharing · Students and workmen walk through McCarthy Quad, one of the locations where the Los Angeles Festival of Books will be held. Trousdale Parkway will also be used. - Jennifer Schultz | Daily Trojan

The Festival, hosted by the Times, will bring about 400 authors and several hundred exhibitions to campus between April 30 and May 1.

The Festival has been held at UCLA for the last 15 years, but the event was moved to USC after University of California officials and event organizers disagreed on how to share expenses, particularly in light of the recent budget cuts to the UC system, according to an article in the Times in September.

President C. L. Max Nikias expressed excitement at the opportunity to host the prestigious Festival.

“Our goal is to mobilize our students, our faculty and staff, our alumni and parents to attend this event,” Nikias told USC News in February. “We want to bring 150,000 people to our campus. We want this weekend to be successful on every level.”

Some students, however, are concerned the festival might disrupt campus life, and won’t necessarily benefit students.

“I think that a lot of [non-student] locals are going to the Festival, but I feel that students are not going to get a lot out of it because they don’t know about it,” said Frank Park, a junior majoring in English and political science. “Having all of that ruckus on campus while people are trying to study … students aren’t going to like it.”

Preparations for the Festival began Friday, with tents erected Friday on McCarthy Quad and Trousdale Parkway.

Over the next few days, stages will be constructed in Founder’s Park, Argue Plaza, Alumni Park and on Trousdale.

The noise that accompanies the set-up process has not been well-received by some students.

“Even when you close the windows it can be loud, and it can get annoying when you have to study,” said Andres Park, a freshman majoring in biology who lives in Birnkrant Residential College, near McCarthy Quad.

The festival is expected to have a significant impact on the campus this weekend.

USC Transportation sent out a memo to all students last Tuesday encouraging them to prepare for heavy traffic on April 30 and May 1.

Students who commute are not looking forward to dealing with the increased traffic.

“[Though] the Festival is on the weekend, I still come to campus to study, so it’s going to be impossible to find parking,” said Frank Park, who commutes from his home in Torrance.

Students will certainly notice more crowds at campus eateries, as the Festival annually attracts a large crowd.

The agreement between the Los Angeles Times and USC to hold the annual Festival on campus is effective for the next three years.

The agreement is expected to be renewed after that, according to the Times.

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