Days Until Rites of Spring 2018








Rites of Spring Important Information


Rites of Spring will be held on Alumni Lawn at Vanderbilt University on April 20th and 21st. Below is a map of Rites of Spring.

The purpose of this Severe Weather Emergency Plan  is to describe the policies and procedures for dealing with severe weather incidents that occur during the Rites of Spring Music Festival.  This Plan details our procedures for the following items relating to severe weather incidents:Severe Weather Information

All information about our weather plan will be posted on our primary website: As available updates will be posted via our social media outlets (Twitter: Rites of Spring; Vanderbilt Programming Board; and the Rites of Spring Fan Page).  Every attempt will be made to keep these updates as current as possible, but we can not guarantee that all social media outlets will be updated immediately upon changes.

  • Tracking local severe weather;
  • Making decisions for suspending/terminating event and evacuating the lawn;
  • Making announcements to the guest regarding severe weather;
  • Evacuating part or all of the area;
  • Resuming normal event operations after a severe weather incident; and
  • Documenting, evaluating, and reporting severe weather incidents

The Command Post staff will be responsible for tracking local severe weather.  Specifically, the Vanderbilt University Police Department(VUPD) Communications Specialist will provide event day weather forecast updates to the Command Post.  Weather Data Incorporated tracks weather for the Vanderbilt University campus, and provides weather information to VUPD headquarters.  The VUPD Command Center representative will contact the VUPD headquarters to obtain an event forecast upon arrival at the Command Post.  The VUPD Command representative will also ask for a 30-minute warning for any approaching severe weather storms which include tornadic weather, severe thunderstorms, and lightning storms.  The VUPD Command representative will continue to receive periodic updates from VUPD headquarters on weather conditions in cases where severe weather is likely.  The VUPD representative should receive a 30-minute warning for any approaching severe weather via radio.  At the latest, a warning will be sent to the VUPD representative via an emergency weather beeper when severe weather is within 15 minutes of campus.

Additionally, Vanderbilt University has installed severe weather sirens in strategic locations across the campus to alert persons that are outdoors of impending severe weather.  The sirens sound for 3 minutes when tornadic weather is within 15 minutes of Vanderbilt University campus.  For severe thunderstorms and/or lightning storms, the sirens sound for 30 seconds followed by a voice message when the storms are within 15 minutes of campus.  The nearest siren to Alumni Lawn is located on top of the Vanderbilt Stadium Club.

The Command Post will be responsible for relaying severe weather information and updates to the Vanderbilt Director, Arts & Campus Events.  Specifically, the Event Management representative will be the liaison with the Director, Arts & Campus Events.  Also, the Event Management representative will provide communication between the Command Post and event staff, if necessary.

The Command Post will be in communication with the Vanderbilt Director, Arts & Campus Events and the staff during severe weather incidents.  The Command Post will be prepared to provide recommendations for action regarding severe weather incidents.  In general, severe weather, including tornados, severe thunderstorms, and lightning storms, approaching campus and 30 minutes from campus will be considered to warrant action up to and including evacuation of the lawn area, suspension or postponement of the event, and evacuation of the area.  However, circumstances may dictate an alternative action plan, and a real time decision will be made for each individual scenario.

For the period prior to event start, the Vanderbilt Director, Arts & Campus Events will ultimately be responsible for making decisions regarding severe weather including severe weather announcements, evacuation of the lawn, and postponement of the event.  The Vanderbilt Director, Arts & Campus Events may consult with the Command Post staff and the VUPD Command Representatives in making severe weather decisions. When severe weather is anticipated from the pre-event forecast, the Command Post may work with the Vanderbilt Director, Arts & Campus Events to pre-establish the guidelines for initiating severe weather responses in order to minimize response time.

During the event, the Vanderbilt Police Department will ultimately be responsible for making decisions regarding severe weather, except for suspension of the event.  The Director, Arts & Campus Events will ultimately be responsible for making decisions regarding suspending the event and evacuating the lawn once the event has begun.  The Vanderbilt University Police Department Command representative and the Director, Arts & Campus Events shall consult with each other and/or the Command Post staff in making severe weather decisions.

Evacuation of General Alumni Lawn Area
If there is a potential for a severe weather Alumni Lawn evacuation, the Command Post will monitor the crowd volume in preparation of an evacuation.  The total attendance not including performers, event staff, band members and security will need to be estimated (including updates if a significant reduction occurs) for evacuation purposes.

For tornadoes and severe thunderstorms, the following evacuation points listed in order of preference will be utilized:

1.            Sarratt Student Center

2.            Neely Auditorium

For lightning storms, the following evacuation points listed in order of preference will be utilized:

1.            Sarratt Student Center

2.            Neely Auditorium

The Command Post will be continuously monitoring the weather conditions to determine when conditions are safe to resume normal event operations.  The Command Post will be in close communication with the Vanderbilt Director, Arts & Campus Events and the staff, who will ultimately make the decisions regarding returning to normal event operations.  Once the decision has been made to resume normal event operations, the announcement will be made to the evacuated persons according to the script provided in this document.  This script may be amended based on actual circumstances.  The Command Post will be responsible for ensuring that the Public Address announcers receive the proper script.  This announcement will be repeated as necessary to ensure that all event attendees are informed of what to do.  VUPD and Security Officers will be utilized to direct people back into the Lawn area in the same manner as they were evacuated.


Free parking is available at the Terrace Place Parking Garage, located off 21st Avenue South on Terrace Place.

***Note: Do not park in reserved areas or your car will be towed.

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Alcohol and Bag Policy
Festival goers will no longer be allowed to bring their own alcoholic beverages. Instead, beer only will be available for purchase from designated vendors at the event scheduled for Friday, April 20, and Saturday, April 21, on Vanderbilt’s Alumni Lawn. Security will check identification for all festival attendees prior to the purchase of beer and attendees will be limited to three beers per day.

Non-alcoholic drinks and food will also be available for purchase at the event and the university’s Vanderbilt Recovery Support/Center for Student Wellbeing will be providing free bottles of water throughout the duration of the festival.

Other policies attendees should be aware of include the following:

  • Coolers will not be allowed to be checked in at the gates in order to reduce bottlenecks and speed entry to the event.
  • Backpacks (including hydration packs), large purses, and bags will not be allowed on festival grounds.
  • Small clutch bags, approximately the size of a hand either with or without a handle or strap, and fanny packs are permissible.
  • Exceptions may be made on a case-by-case basis for medically required items after proper inspection.
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There will be VUPD officers, Rites of Spring staff and security specifically designated to monitor the crowd. They will be constantly walking among the crowd throughout the event. Security will also be located at the entrances to all residence halls in the Alumni Lawn perimeter.

Security staffing will include VUPD, security and Rites of Spring staff. Throughout the lawn and the surrounding areas, security will assess intoxicated persons, under-age drinking and general event management. Should Office of the Dean of Students Staff personnel or Rites of Spring staff encounter intoxicated persons or under-age drinking, they will confront the behavior and if the intervention is unfavorable or uncomfortable for the security staff, they will call Office of the Dean of Students Staff Designee, VUPD or security.

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Reducing Risk

Rites of Spring is committed to reducing the risks and negative consequences of alcohol consumption at the event. We will ensure cabs are available during the last two hours of the event for off campus guests.

Announcements about cab availability and DUI prevention will be made at appropriate times during the evenings.

All guests may bring one unopened bottled water to the event to be checked by security at the entrances. Vanderbilt Dining will facilitate the additional sale of water and soda on the lawn. No outside food is allowed into the event except small snacks for special dietary needs. This will be monitored at the entrances.

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Rites of Spring staff is committed to the safety of all participants at the event. Should participants stand on the chairs, they will be asked to sit down. If they do not comply, they will be removed from the event. Further, should it be evaluated that chairs are problematic at any time during the event, an alternative plan will be enforced and chairs will no longer be allowed at the event. No folding chairs other than low seated concert chairs will be allowed (chairs must sit less than 1 ft off the ground).

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Trash & Recycling

Please dispose trash into the proper trash cans. Recycling containers will be available for aluminum cans. Dispose aluminum cans only in the blue recycling containers.

Items Allowed into the event:

  • Chairs (must sit less than 1 ft off the ground)
  • Blankets
  • Clutch Purses/Fanny Packs – subject to search

Items Not Allowed into the event:

  • No backpacks
  • No bags (only small clutch bags)
  • No Alcohol
  • No weapons of any kind
  • No fireworks
  • No umbrellas
  • No illegal substances
  • No glass containers
  • No frisbees
  • No video cameras
  • No professional photography equipment (Unless you have an artist pass)
  • No food or drinks – other than factory sealed water bottles and small snacks for dietary needs.

Please respect the rules of the venue and cooperate with the event staff so that Rites of Spring can be a great experience for all parties.

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About Arts & Campus Events

The Office of the Dean of Students at Vanderbilt University provides an extensive list of activities and organizations for students to gain the true college experience. The Office of Arts & Campus Events houses several organizations and programs designed to meet the needs of every college student. Their mission is to offer a fun and celebratory environment as well as cultivating a sense of school pride that extends past the classroom.

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Area Hotels for Rites of Spring

Nashville Marriott at Vanderbilt

2555 West End Avenue

Nashville, TN 37203



  • high speed internet access
  • 2 phone lines in each room
  • Cable/satellite TV with HBO
  • 3 on-site restaurants

Embassy Suites Nashville at Vanderbilt

1811 Broadway

Nashville, TN 37203



  • complimentary cooked-to-order breakfast
  • two-room suites
  • high speed internet access
  • fitness room
  • on-site restaurant

Holiday Inn Select – Vanderbilt

2613 West End Ave

Nashville, TN 37203

For Reservations:   1-888-465-4329

Front Desk:   615-327-4707


  • high speed internet access
  • pets welcome
  • 2 on-site restaurants

Hampton Inn Nashville/Vanderbilt

1919 West End Ave

Nashville, TN 37203



  • high speed internet access
  • complimentary hot breakfast
Courtyard Marriott – Vanderbilt/West End

1901 West End Ave

Nashville, TN 37203



  • high speed internet access
  • on-site restaurant

Loews Vanderbilt (SOLD OUT)

2100 West End Ave

Nashville, TN 37203



  • on-site restaurant and spa
  • pets welcome
  • high speed internet access

Hampton Inn & Suites Nashville – At the University

2330 Elliston Pl

Nashville, TN 37203



  • complimentary hot breakfast
  • high speed internet access

Information is subject to change.

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