Sources tell CGB that this year's Big Game Rally will be a little bit different. The 2015 Big Game Rally will "include pyrotechnics, fire show and student performances, but not a traditional Bonfire."
We received the following statement from the UC Rally Committee chairman Shreyas Chand:
Due to the ongoing drought and the extreme dryness of the Berkeley hills, the determination was made by the State and Campus Fire Marshall's offices that the risk posed by burning a wooden structure such as the Bonfire so close to the hills was far too great this year. Fires have already occurred this year in the hills and the particular embers emitted by the Bonfire are some of the most dangerous.
Hearing this information we, of course, agreed to create alternate plans. Of all the constituent groups of the Cal Family, the Rally Committee understands more than most the significance of the Bonfire at the Big Game Rally - the Committee was founded primarily because of the bonfire rallies that would spontaneously occur throughout campus in the early years of our University. This year, however, the choice simply came down to upholding a tradition or the extremely high probability of the Berkeley hills burning down. While disheartening, the choice was simple.
The Campus Fire Marshall's office throughout this process has been nothing short of amazing in their support of student activities and California tradition. With their help and guidance, we have been working on an amazing new, and safer, rally to be held in Edwards Track with a modern take on the traditional Big Game Rally. The Rally will be something akin to a highlight reel of the University - tracing some of the most vivid moments in our history. Punctuated with plenty of pyrotechnics and student performances, the 2015 Big Game Rally is sure to wow the Old Blue and Cal Freshman alike. As is traditional, Cal Band and the rest of Cal Spirit will be performing as well.
Big Game bonfire was also cancelled due to the Big Game being played in October that year and a conflict of a Bob Dylan concert at the Greek Theater. A separate "duck roast" bonfire rally was held later that year.
So Cal fans, what is your take on this divergence from one of the most hallowed Big Game tradition? How much of this change can we blame on David Shaw? How many more years before we have a hologram bonfire rally?
Give us your hot (but not incendiary, of course) take on this development below.