After Illinois announced that it would be holding its Chicago alumni event at World of Beer in Evanston, Northwestern fans were more than a little bit irritated at the Illini’s plans. After all, Evanston isn’t Chicago — the real Chicago has an Illini bar — and it was a clear move by Illinois to try to rustle some feathers at their rival school “up north.” NU fans were even more upset at World of Beer for agreeing to host such an event.
A group of Northwestern fans in the “Wildside” student group made a Facebook group about the event and planned to protest it from outside the bar. Some of the 285 people who said they were “attending” even planned to buy $25 tickets to crash the party from inside. So after all the backlash, World of Beer decided to cancel the event, and sent us this in response (please excuse the typos. It was sent from an iPhone):
We thought this event is just a private party for UofI. We didn’t realize the nature of the event is against NU. We have called U of I and informed them we cannot host this event. We are 100% support Northwestern University. Here, we would like to apologize the confusing.
World of Beer Evanston
And here’s the statement from Wildside president Gram Bowsher, who started the Facebook group, on the news:
“I just think it’s great to see so much support for Northwestern athletics. Everyone came together, applied some pressure, and we made a statement. It really has me excited for the future and culture developing on campus.”
In the end, this makes sense from a business standpoint. World of Beer is new to Evanston this year, so it would have been a bad idea for them to anger their main customer base: sports fans in Evanston. After showing its support for NU, World of Beer may even get more customers and publicity than it would have without any of this mess, since just after the news that the Illini event had been cancelled, this was posted in the Facebook group:
Thoughts on all of us hitting up WoB a week from today from 7-9 to thank them?