Every year, Springfield College has a spring concert. Last year, it was Bruno Mars and Jay Sean, the year before it was Ludacris. But how are these concerts planned? Who does all the leg work for one of most anticipated nights of the year on campus? Well, that would be the club on campus simply known as SC Backstage.
Planning for the concert is a much more involved process than most students on campus would like to believe. For the most part students expect a concert, buy the tickets when they come on sale and then go to the concert. However, there is much more that goes into the biggest on-campus event of the year.
Planning for the concert begins in September, almost immediately after students return to school from summer vacation. Upon returning to campus, SC Backstage begins figuring out how they will pay for the event, and they make a plan for how they will go about marketing and fundraising for the concert. Without these valuable steps, that most students on campus don’t give a second thought about, the production would not at all be possible.
Once the building blocks are laid, SC Backstage can start the fun part, and the hardest part: finding a band. The process begins when the club sends out a survey to the student body asking them to vote on what genre they would prefer for the concert. Once the results are in, the club then finds a band that fits the genre voted on by the students and their budget. From those bands, they put together a list of groups and again survey the student body. With the results received from the second survey, SC Backstage decides on what bands they want to make a bid on.
Once the bids are in, it is a waiting game.
“The hardest part is waiting for the artists to get back to you,” says SC Backstage treasurer Matt DiBona. “We can only place one bid at a time, so if artists keep you waiting, you can lose out on other artists.”
This year, after placing bids with a few different bands, the final result was the hip-hop group Gym Class Heroes. However, the band’s lead singer Travis McCoy was given a last minute opportunity to perform at the 2012 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame the same day in Cleveland, Ohio.
Normally, once the band and date are booked, the hardest part is over. At this point, it comes down to making sure that everything is set to go on the day of the concert. The day of the show is a long one for members of SC Backstage. It starts at 6 a.m. and runs until after midnight. The day includes transforming Blake Arena from a basketball court into a stage and arena that will soon be hosting thousands of screaming college kids and providing top-notch hospitality to the bands. SC Backstage also makes sure the bands have everything that they will need throughout the course of the day.
Despite all the work that SC Backstage puts into the spring concert, there are always people who question the choice of the band. Backstage president Mike Sedlak has a simple answer to the inevitable question.
“The way I choose to answer the question of why we selected this particular band is actually quite simple,” said Sedlack. “We based our selection off of the surveys we conducted throughout the school year via the Springfield College email list, so everyone gets a vote. After that, we take into effect [our] budget and go from there. Gym Class Heroes was the perfect fit this year budget-wise, and it was the genre voted for by our student body.”
However, sometimes you cannot prepare for the unexpected. Despite the recent change in plans, excitement for this year’s concert will still remain. The concert is set to take place on April 14th inside Blake Arena. The concert will begin at 8 p.m. and be free of charge to students.
Sam Dostaler may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org