Artists submitted as suggestions that are out of budget:
While we think all of the above artists are phenomenal options that we would love to host at UConn, unfortunately, they are out of our budget. Many artists reach a point in their career where they shift from doing college shows to massive world tours and major festival performances. A lot of the artists that we’ve hosted (Kendrick, Cole, Gambino, Kanye, etc.) have blown up to have huge careers. When they were booked, their careers and fees were at a significantly lower level. Putting all of these artists performance fees aside, they just aren’t doing many college shows anymore. They’re headlining Coachella, selling out football stadiums, performing at the Super Bowl and looking to perform at enormous shows. With that said, we keep an eye on all of these artists to arrange travel trips to their show if and when they are touring in the area. We invite you to do the same and let us know if there’s any tours you think would be worth looking into. This isn’t a no, but definitely something to consider when suggesting these artists, or artists like them.
Artists submitted as suggestions that have been selected recently:
We love these artists just as much as you do! That’s why we’ve gone to one of their shows or hosted them. We may see one of them again but keep in mind we do our best to switch up the artists that we see. These artists have been apart of a show or a travel trip within the last 4 years which means that there are students currently at UConn that have already seen them, through SUBOG. The overall goal is to not repeat artists if we don’t have to. As said above, it could happen, but it’s good to understand our thought process.
Why do we use the lottery for ticket distribution?
Why wasn’t (insert artist here) listed on the survey?
Can we use a bigger location for concerts that fits more students?
Why can’t we bring our bags into the venue?
How do you select artists for a show?
1st: We collect some early information about what the music trends are and artist’s that are currently on the minds of UConn students.
2nd: We use that information to compile a large list of artists that are in demand but still affordable.
3rd: We take that list and get direct feedback and votes through surveys, committee meetings, and focus groups.
4th: We examine the results and bring in other variables. Can the artist perform well live? Does the artist promote negative social messages that may be harmful to UConn? Is the artist on the verge of superstardom? We ask ourselves a lot of these questions including our most recent addition, is the artist a liability in terms of arriving on time or arriving at all? This step is important to booking a good artist, but also creating a great show.
5th: We look into artist availability. Everything may be perfect about an artist except the fact that they’re on a Europe tour during the month of April, or they’re doing another performance on the date of our show, or maybe they’ve got personal stuff going on that prevents them from coming here. Regardless of their reason, if an artist isn’t available or willing to come, we can’t select them.
6th: We make sure the artist is still affordable. The music landscape changes so quickly. By the time we have reached a consensus as a school, an artist may be 10x the price compared to when we initially looked into them. We move as quickly as possible to prevent this from happening as this is one of the worst blows that can happen in the selection process. Just like you, we get our hearts set on someone and they slip away at the last minute. It happens, but we always have tons of great options to consider.
7th: We place an offer for an artist that meets all of the criteria and then we wait to hear back.
8th: We hear back from the artist and we begin negotiating a contract. This stage is essential as an artist may have accepted an offer, but it isn’t official until the contract is signed. For that reason, we can’t announce an artist until the contract is officially finished.
9th: We repeat steps 1 through 8 to place another artist on the lineup. This time around, we have to consider how will the artists blend together in one show? What genres have we satisfied and what other genres should we target?
10th: We announce a lineup.
Can you increase the money spent on concerts and decrease in smaller SUBOG events to offset the costs?
The only way to increase the whole budget is to increase the student activity fee within tuition every year. To do that, you must petition the Student Fee Advisory Committee (SFAC) and request that they do. Essentially, you’d be asking to increase tuition to pay for the concerts, which is not an easy sell.
Lastly, per UConn rules, Tier III organizations, including SUBOG, are not allowed to actively fundraise or take donations for more funding. We are investigating other revenue options to increase funding but unfortunately fundraising cannot be one of them.
Discussing budgets and funding as a whole is no easy conversation. There is always going to be things that we could be doing better and we are constantly considering new methods. The SUBOG budget is re-evaluated every academic year and your feedback is helpful.
How do you decide on the genre of the concert? What about smaller genre representation?
Why do you choose an artist by majority vote if the majority is mostly one ethnicity?
Is it possible to buy a Meet & Greet ticket to see the artist?
How do we stay in contact with the artist until the show?
What happens when an artist cancels? How can we prevent that from happening? Why don’t we reschedule?
The situation last year was not a voluntary cancellation or the artist choosing not to show up. The artist was not able to physically to get to Gampel as all flights that day were delayed then cancelled because of a massive thunderstorm. With that, situations like that will always exist, even though our priority is getting the artist to the venue.
The reason it’s not that easy to reschedule is because we book artists months before the show. We secure their availability for one day, not for multiple days, and therefore their schedule won’t allow for a reschedule within the little weeks we have left in the school year. Also, while we do not have to pay the artist in these situations, we have to pay for every other cost like security and production. If we were to reschedule, we would essentially be paying for two spring concerts, which we could not afford.
With this said, there are definitely things that we could absolutely do better given the cancellation last year. Communication is definitely one of them. Last year was one of those situations that no one expected but we’ve been able to learn a lot from it. We’ve added many different steps and precautions from preventing the situation last year from happening again. Our goal is always to actually have the concert that we spent months planning. But, as we learned, things happen and you can only look forward.
Are we allowed to transfer our tickets to a friend?
The floor is not full at the concerts, why aren’t we allowed down?
Can you increase security and crowd control at the concerts?
Can you get people into the building quicker?
Can we have one bigger concert instead of two concerts?
The reason we decided to stick to two, rather than just one has to do with including different genres and artists. With just one show, we run the risk of not being able to satisfy different music tastes throughout the year. If there was one show, and you didn’t like the artist, there wouldn’t be a show for you all year. By doing one show a semester, there’s a greater chance that each student will like a concert, if not both. This was our thought process for this school year, and it could be re-evaluated when deciding the structure for next year.
Why do we need an opener? Can we just book one headliner?
Can students have the opportunity to open the concerts?
Why is only one guest per student allowed?
Why aren’t regional or graduate students able to attend the concerts?
As referenced previously, while regional campus and graduate students are UConn students, they do not pay the student activity fee by which SUBOG Concerts are funded. While we must always prioritize UConn Storrs undergraduates, we are look also looking at ways to include both regional and graduate students in future concerts. Stay tuned for more information coming in the near future.