Can Students Have A Say With Art Attack Performers?

Art Attack XXXIII headliners T-Pain and Lil Dicky will perform at the Xfinity Center Friday, May 6.

Last year, Jessie J, The Chainsmokers and Logic took the stage at the university. Notable performers at the annual spring concert include Weezer, B.o.B and MGMT.

While 27,000 plus undergraduates at this university will never have the same taste in music, it seems like more and more students are dissatisfied with the choices of performances.

The Student Entertainment Services (SEE) has addressed the backlash to this year’s choice. Concerts Director Danny Campbell said, “I wanted to have a concert where people would know the lyrics,” in a SEE blog post.

Campbell said T-Pain’s upcoming tour and album coordinated with the date of Art Attack. T- Pain has recently released two new songs “Hundred Mo Dolla$” and “Look At You.”

As for Lil Dicky, Campbell said, “He’s new and fresh.” He also addressed the SEE budget – Campbell said he wanted to put on a good show without breaking student’s bank accounts. Ticket prices would have to increase in order to get a highly desired performer.

Well, how much are we already paying for SEE and how much would we want to pay for a more desirable performer?

Right now, full-time students pay $8.92 for Student Activity fees or SEE events per semester. As of Fall 2015, we had 27,443 undergraduate students. While part-time students have to pay half that fee, they still have to pay it. SEE’s budget just from mandatory fees falls approximately from $122,396- 244,792 every semester (first number is assuming everyone is a part-time student, second number is assuming everyone is a full-time student.)

Nonetheless, students have to pay ticket fees for many of the events SEE puts on, generally concerts and comedy shows. This academic year, tickets to see comedian Hannibal Buress were $10-$15. Fallapalooza tickets featuring Zed’s Dead were $9 for students.

And like athletic games, not every student is guaranteed a spot at any SEE event. While there are often people begging for a ticket to a basketball game, Art Attack tickets have been on sale for almost a month and are still available.

Other schools are headlining seemingly more relevant artists. The University of New Hampshire is hosting Future April 29, $25 for student floor and $15 for student bowl seats.

Chance The Rapper and Tove Lo played at Northeastern University’s Springfest April 2 and it was $15 for a student ticket.

UMD sold $10 pre-sale seated tickets and $20 for floor tickets for students. The price is now up $12 for seated tickets and $22 for floor seats.

While most students complain they are too broke to spend money but when it comes to seeing their favorite artists- many would be willing to spend that extra cash.

“If I could pre-buy tickets to raise enough money to get a better performer, I would,” Taylor Judge, sophomore business major, said.

According to Complex Magazine, former Art Attack performer Big Sean has a cost of about $75,000 per performance while more recognized artists like J. Cole and Kendrick Lamar are $125,000 plus. The difference in cost between Big Sean and J. Cole or Lamar is $50,000. But, the difference in popularity is huge as well.

Is making a higher-priced ticket to get a better performer even possible?

Well, maybe it could be and maybe it can’t be. In a 2012 SEE blog post, former concerts director Amina Goheer explained SEE could only do so much about booking the Art Attack performances.

SEE allocates the funds and researches to see what artists currently interest students. Every year, Art Attack is given a certain date and not every artist is available on that specific day, and often the most desired artists are not.

Goheer said, “First, and most importantly, SEE is a student organization, not a business. We’re not here to turn a profit; we’re here to serve the entire student population. We’re not going to let people sit out of our largest event because they can’t afford a $40 ticket. We understand that other schools do it, and that some of you might be willing to pay that much, but that’s not how we operate.”

Four years later, concerts director Danny Campbell is saying the same thing. The Art Attack lineup will never please everyone. Even if a popular vote were to happen, the chances of getting that artist seem to be slim.

Getting a Beyonce and Nicki duo-concert may not be as feasible as students think, although they can still have hope for next year’s Art Attack.