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Open house weekend to reopen Memorial Union’s west wing

September 9, 2014

The aerial dance troupe BANDALOOP rehearses on the exterior wall of the Wisconsin Union Theater Sept. 11. The renowned "vertical dance" group will be performing Sept. 12 and 13.

The aerial dance troupe BANDALOOP rehearses on the exterior wall of the Wisconsin Union Theater Sept. 11.


Update: Due to the weather, the 4:30 p.m. Friday BANDALOOP performance is canceled. The second one at 6:45 p.m. is still on. The Madison World Music Festival will go on as scheduled in Shannon Hall.

After two years of construction, Memorial Union’s west wing will celebrate its reopening with an open house weekend highlighting the new and renovated spaces and the annual Madison World Music Festival with BANDALOOP. In its 11th year, the World Music Fest runs Friday, Sept. 12 from 4:30 p.m. to midnight, and Saturday, Sept. 13, from 2 p.m. to midnight, and is free and open to the public.  

Photo: BANDALOOP practicing on Union Theater wall

BANDALOOP will be performing on the theater’s east wall Sept. 12 and 13.


The Madison World Music Festival will host international music mostly on Memorial Union Terrace as well as the Dragon Knights stilt walkers and BANDALOOP, an aerial dance troupe that will perform on the east wall of the Wisconsin Union Theater on both Friday and Saturday. The rain location for musicians is Shannon Hall, the main performance space inside the Wisconsin Union Theater. In case of inclement weather, BANDALOOP’s performance will be canceled that day.

The Madison World Music Festival also opens the Union Theater’s 75th season.

The open house will also help introduce the west wing’s new spaces, including the Fredric March Play Circle, Class of  1925 Gallery, Wheelhouse Studios and Outdoor UW.  

Photo: Two men in entrance to Wheelhouse Studios

Jay Ekleberry (left), Wheelhouse Studios director, and Hank Walter, associate director of the Wisconsin Union, describe the new studio during a recent tour.


Outdoor UW will offer free s’mores in the evenings and stand up paddleboard yoga on Saturday afternoon to the tune of “locally global” music on the Terrace as well as half-price canoe and kayak rentals.

Wheelhouse Studios, the newly combined Craftshop and Mini Courses, will offer free drop-in activities on both Friday and Saturday from noon to 11 p.m. Craft-making options include ceramic tiles, pottery and clay creatures. 

On Friday at 8:30 p.m., the new Play Circle will host Flamenco dance and music by Eviscer Art as part of the Madison World Music Festival.

The Brat Stand on the Terrace will also get into the act, offering tasty tidbits from Japan, Trinidad, the Basque region of Spain, Taiwan, Tunisia and Cuba on Friday and Saturday.

West Wing Tours Available

Campus and Visitors Relations (CAVR) information guides will conduct regular west wing tours starting at 4:30 p.m. on Friday and 2 p.m. on Saturday.

Parking is available in Lot 6 beneath the Helen C. White building along Park Street across from the Union Theater, as well as in the City of Madison ramp on Lake Street.

For more information on these events, follow the Wisconsin Union on Facebook and Twitter.

—Marc Kennedy