Concert attendance did not meet committee’s hopes

Nicole Stempak

With $154,020 left to spend, USG wants to seek more student feedback

Undergraduate Student Government’s programming committee spent $148,939 to sponsor two concerts this semester. It earned $46,719 in ticket sales.

Mike Szabo, programming director for Undergraduate Student Government, said he wasn’t surprised by the expenses but was surprised at the ticket sales.

“I’m not surprised by how much we made or lost but at how much attendance didn’t hit my expectations, especially for the Lupe Fiasco concert,” he said, adding the estimated expenses were fairly accurate.

Szabo estimated 3,200 tickets were sold for the first concert, the Crocs Next Step Tour, in mid-September. He estimated 2,500 tickets were sold for the Lupe Fiasco concert during Homecoming week.

USG Executive Director Jonathan Bey said attendance lagged compared to last semester’s sold-out Third Eye Blind concert.

“Did it turn out the way I hoped?” he asked. “No, but I think it was money well spent.”

Szabo said he thought the committee did a good job of “getting the word out” about the concerts through fliers, newspaper and magazine ads and radio promotions.

One aspect he said needs to be improved is communication with students.

“We’re here to represent the students,” he said. “Kent State is very diverse so it’s hard to represent everyone.

“I want to get a better feel for what the students want as a whole and how I can represent their type of music (taste) in the concerts.”

Szabo said he will try to reach out to more students next semester through surveys, in classes or even by a blog on USG’s Web site.

The message Szabo said he wants to communicate to students is that he and the other four members of the programming committee are still learning.

“What we’re trying to do is (take) the input that we got this semester and try to figure out what we need to do to make it better for next semester,” he said.

The committee has $154,020 left to spend for concerts next semester.

Contact student politics reporter Nicole Stempak at [email protected].