Not Too Cool for This School: Posner Headlines Spring Concert
By June Pan '13, Managing News Editor
Following an unexpected turn of events, three college favorites will highlight this year’s Spring Concert, set to take place on April 15 at 8 p.m. in LeFrak Gymnasium. Travie McCoy of Gym Class Heroes and White Panda are set to open the concert for lead performer Mike Posner, who reached double platinum with his hit 2010 single “Cooler Than Me.”

Students may be surprised by this final line-up, as Posner originally was not one the artists featured in the school-wide poll that Program Board sent out during the fall semester to gauge student preferences for this year’s performance. The Program Board, which organizes the Spring Concert annually, ran into some unforeseen difficulties while trying to book an artist for this year’s concert.

The Spring Concert ballots went out before Thanksgiving, asking students to vote on their artist preference by marking their top three choices for the concert, indicating whether they wanted an opening act and what price range that they found acceptable. The original candidates for this year’s concert were: Common, Gym Class Heroes, Kid Cudi, Lupe Fiasco, Nicki Minaj, Ok Go, OneRepublic and Vampire Weekend.

With some 900 votes cast, Program Board tallied the results in such a way that gives the most weight to the first-choice vote and the least to the third-choice vote. The Board then attempted to book the artist with the highest vote value. According to Program Board co-chairs Sabrina Stavonor ’11 and Ian Mellis ’11, the Board also took into account students’ preferences for opening acts and budgeting.

“If a more popular artist is unable to meet students’ requests on these two questions, we generally move to the next popular artist on the results list,” said Stavanor and Mellis. “This better ensures that we appeal to the broader interests of Amherst’s student body, rather than just those of the people who voted for the most popular candidate.”

“It is our primary goal to bring the best and most desired concert possible to campus.”

This year, the Program Board was forced to choose an artist not on the original list after an unnamed candidate, who had been booked, backed out at a late hour in order to prepare for an international tour. Prior to this incident, the Board had already eliminated the possibility of having another of the popular choices and subsequently faced a conundrum where the remaining the candidates were either unpopular, according to the survey results, or whose prices exceeded budgeting restrictions. Stavanor and Mellis explained that one major problem with prices was the inverse correlation between an artist’s fee and the number of days left before the concert date, due to rising demand.

In light of these difficulties, Program Board had to compromise to provide a satisfactory concert. “We consulted with our booking agent to arrange a concert that we feel accurately reflects the interests of the student body, albeit with different artists,” said Stavanor and Mellis.

After consulting with their booking agent, the Board decided to book Mike Posner with the two featuring acts.

The Board believes that, “not only are these popular artists, but this is the first time in recent memory that Amherst has gotten three artists to perform at the [Spring] Concert.”

Students can pick up their free tickets for Spring Concert in Room 114 in Keefe Campus Center between March 21 and March 27.

Issue 18, Submitted 2011-03-09 02:49:45