By ANDREW MORSE
The Spring Weekend concert survey was sent out last week and, as always, it has created a buzz around campus.
The survey is composed mostly of lesser-known alternative rock artists, but features a few prominent acts such as Cage the Elephant and The Goo Goo Dolls.
Debate will rage on from now until the Campus Activities Board and faculty make the official announcement of which artists are booked.
However, students must take into account that the artists’ availability, budgetary concerns and the appropriateness of the music, as these all factor into the final decision.
“The basic process is having the concert meeting, then the survey, analyzing the results, submitting the artist to administration for content approval, then going to our booking agent for pricing and availability,” said Patrick McCarren, GSB ’14, CAB’s concert co-chair.
Booking an artist is a long process and depends on a lot of external factors.
Big name performers often have their tours and festival schedules planned out well in advance. Even if a preferred artist is available on the dates of Spring Weekend, his or her recent scheduling may not make a performance at Fordham feasible.
Budgetary concerns also limit who CAB and the administration can realistically bring to campus.
When asked about his expectations for this year’s Spring Weekend concert, McCarren said, “I would love to see a big name artist at Fordham, but students need to remember the size of our school and the limit of our budget. We do not have an arena and cannot charge outside people. It would not make economic sense for an artist who is capable of selling out Madison Square Garden to perform on campus. The student body is not large enough to warrant the same type of artist as a larger state school.”
Fordham is unique in the fact that the artist’s reputation and lyrical content are significant factors when considering who will be offered an opportunity to perform on campus.
“People love to complain about not having rap artists, but this is what you sign up for coming to a Jesuit school,” said McCarren.
Controversial and gritty lyrics, which garner publicity for many well-known artists, dissuade Fordham administrators from allowing them to perform for the student body.
Students must also take into consideration the fluctuations of the music industry as a whole. The release of a new single or album could push a potential Spring Weekend performer out of Fordham’s price range between now and the event.
“A band like Of Monsters and Men was on the survey last year and this year is way out of our budget,” McCarren said. “It’s just the way it works and there’s not much we can do about it.”
CAB faced a similar dilemma during Spring Weekend of the 2011-2012 school year. Foster the People had been booked; however, their single Pumped up Kicks ascended to the top of the Billboard charts after the booking. Their newfound popularity resulted in an increase in price and new tours, which caused a scheduling conflict. CAB and faculty were left to find a new act at the last minute.
When asked about specifics for this year’s performance, McCarren was not able to give any definitive answers, but he is optimistic that CAB will once again book a quality show.
“As far as genre of performer, I don’t think we are leaning towards any one specific genre, but definitely something that will fit the setting and that people will enjoy,” McCarren said. “Typically, it has been rock/alternative bands, but we are definitely open to other options.”
CAB and Fordham administration will be working diligently over the next couple months to find an artist who will be both enjoyable and appropriate for students in the spring.