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College Postpones Crimson Jam Concert Indefinitely Amid Covid-19 Surge

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Crimson Jam will be indefinitely postponed due to the increase of positive Covid-19 cases among College students, the Dean of Students Office announced Friday.

Crimson Jam — an annual concert and block party organized by the College Events Board — would have featured performances in Harvard Yard Friday night by student bands and headliner B.o.B.

DSO Assistant Dean Kate T. Colleran wrote in the announcement that the College cannot safely hold the event at this time.

“Given the increase in positive cases among Harvard College students and the newly announced implementation of a 3x a week testing requirement, we do not have the proper measures in place to hold a large-scale, congregate event until we can fully implement these new policy changes,” Colleran wrote.

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Colleran added the College will reschedule the event for a future date if it is safe to do so.

The announcement stated that the Student Involvement Fair — which was also scheduled to take place on Friday — would proceed. The event, however, would require masks and extend throughout the entire Yard to reduce crowding.

The postponement came one day after Dean of Students Katherine G. O’Dair and Harvard University Health Services Director Giang T. Nguyen announced an increase in testing cadences. O’Dair and Nguyen also urged students to wear their masks and limit their interactions with others.

Pranay Varada ’25 said he was “sad to see it go” because it was intended to kick off the start of the school year, but he “wasn’t too surprised.”

“I can understand why the University decided to cancel it,” he said. “But it is sort of hard to comprehend, considering the other events that are still taking place.”

The Dean of Students Office did not respond to a request for comment Monday.

Daniel K. Hasegawa ’22, a student singer and guitarist scheduled to open for B.o.B., rehearsed daily leading up to the event. He said he first heard about the decision from a representative of the production company hired by the CEB on Thursday morning.

After receiving the email, Hasegawa said he waited throughout the day for an official announcement. He said he was put in the “awkward position” of responding to questions from peers with “no public way for them to verify” the information.

“That was kind of an uncomfortable position to be in,” he said.

Hasegawa said he eventually received final confirmation of the postponement on Friday morning through Colleran’s email to the Harvard affiliates. He also heard back from the CEB, who explained they were in a “similar position of confusion,” per Hasegawa.

Isha Agarwal ’24, a member of the CEB, said postponing Crimson Jam so close to its scheduled time may have hurt the CEB’s relationships with vendors and performers.

“We pulled out the contract a day before the event, which is normally, obviously, not protocol when you sign a contract with someone,” Agarwal said. “If the event gets postponed and we’re able to have it at a later date, we won't be having B.o.B. again.”

Agarwal said she was also frustrated at the College indefinitely postponing a student organization-sponsored event but keeping the administration-sponsored Involvement Fair, adding that she believed the fair would have a higher turnout than Crimson Jam.

“I just wish they’d been a little bit more consistent in their messaging,” Agarwal added.

—Staff writer Noah J. Caza can be reached at noah.caza@thecrimson.com.

—Staff writer Vivian Zhao can be reached at vivian.zhao@thecrimson.com.

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