The fall (and hopefully rise) of the spring concert at Marist College

Spring semester for Marist College students is marked by a variety of events, but one event that receives some of the most attention is the spring concert. Many students are under the impression that the tuition price of Marist has influence on what kind of artist should be performing the spring concert, but this is a wide misconception. There was confusion and disappointment after the last minute performer, the band Bleachers, was announced to be last year’s spring concert. This was deeply reflected in the low attendance rate of approximately 300 students, where typical attendance is approximately 1,000 students.

Past years’ performers of the spring concert include bigger artist names such as the band Goo Goo Dolls and rap artist Big Sean. When the late announcement of the less popular band Bleacher’s performance broke, students were confused and many felt let down. Unfortunately, many students do not understand what factors affect this situation                                                      

Every Marist College students’ tuition includes an activities fee of $125 that is allocated to the budget of all of the clubs and programs on campus, including Student Programming Council (SPC). SPC organizes a wide variety of events of students both on and off campus; this includes the spring and fall concerts.

The fall concert is widely known to not typically be as big of an artist as the spring concert, as the budget is smaller than that of the spring. Last year the fall concert was All Time Low and went over successfully with students, but the following semester the spring concert became an issue.

A contract was signed with the band Panic! at the Disco to perform at the spring concert. A mere two weeks before the concert, a member of the band had a scheduling conflict and the entire band completely dropped out. With two weeks to scramble together a performer, SPC President Alexa Dalbis was spending hours a day trying to figure something out.

Dalbis said she began looking into rap artists, which is typically the genre of music that is surveyed as the most popular at Marist College. “We are making these decisions very true of the student body,” said Alexa Dalbis. Every year SPC puts out a survey that is shared on Facebook asking the student body’s vote on genre type of artist for the upcoming spring concert. Dalbis said they were looking into rap artists such as Common to fill the band’s place, but nothing was coming together.

This year’s spring concert genre survey (Click Here)

The one artist who did respond to Marist was Bleachers, but a late announcement and a not-so mainstream band mixed for a low attendance rate. Although some students say they felt disappointed by the chosen performer, senior Kelsey Bradley had positive things to say about her concert experience, “I went not even because I knew the music but because Jack Antonoff is super up and coming and I thought it would be cool. There was basically no one there, but they still put on a really energetic show and sounded awesome!”

This year to avoid a mishap SPC is doing things differently. “We always wish we could do better for them (the students),” Dalbis said. But it is not all up to SPC; there is a second party involved in the planning.

SPC works with a booking agency, Concert Ideas, based out of New Paltz. They work with Marist’s budget, help decide what artists may be attainable for the college, and work in contacting the artists’ representation. However, it is not as simple as that. An artist may decide they do not want to perform at the college solely due to the fact the size of the audience may not be large enough or they do not feel like traveling to the area.

SPC’s new approach this year is instead of having two separate budgets, one for fall and one for spring, they are combining the budgets towards the spring concert. Dalbis is confident this new budget range will be able to book an artist that is satisfactory to all.

Although the ideas to secure a popular artist for the spring concert sounds promising, nothing is set in stone. Some seniors at Marist say they will be again very disappointed if their last year to attend a spring concert is another dud. But Dalbis positively encourages students to attend the concert no matter what. With the low price of approximately $15 to attend a concert down by the riverfront, Dalbis says it is about the experience.

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