Oct 072008
Authors: Johnny Hart

As about 7,500 people gathered in Moby Arena Sunday for the Lupe Fiasco and Three 6 Mafia concert, 231 of 1,500 still-available tickets sat unused in the Moby Arena Box Office.

Because of contractual obligations, the Association for Student Activity Programming was forced to sell 1,500 of the 7,700 total tickets, making them unavailable to students. And their efforts fell short despite box office employees staying for more than an hour longer than usual, according to Campus Box Office Manager Derek Martin.

But the obligations stem from a contract that ASAP drafted to make up for a $20,000 difference between what the top-five desired bills — which included Gym Class Heroes, Modest Mouse, Paramore and Jimmy Eat World, Sugarland and Jack Johnson — required as payment and what ASCSU had budgeted to spend on the concert.

To meet performer demand, ASAP wrote and proposed contract offers to all the bands they invited to play the concert, which noted that 1,500 tickets would be sold to help pay back the extra $20,000 they could not account for. Only 6,200 tickets were to be set aside to give free to students.

Because of these contractual obligations, ASAP could not re-release the 231 unused tickets to students for free.

“(Students) could have bought them when (they) were there,” said Quinn Girrens, the vice president of the Associated Students of CSU. “If people don’t want to buy them, then people don’t want to buy them, but they were available, and we tried to make that as apparent as possible.”

Nathan Kogut, student coordinator for ASAP concerts, said ASAP could have stayed under their original budget of $90,000, but would not have been able to bring two big artists like Fiasco and Three 6 Mafia.

“ASAP and ASCSU agreed to take that financial risk,” said Mary Branton-Housley, assistant director of Campus Activities.

Dan Palmer, an economics graduate student, said students, especially graduate students, did not benefit from this concert.

“I think the university could have used that money for something that lasts longer than a concert,” Palmer said. “On the other hand, a lot of people wanted a concert, I just wasn’t one of them.”

ASAP and ASCSU will take the proceeds from the ticket sales and divide them evenly between the two organizations based on the percentage of extra money each put in to meet the extra $20,000 up front.

“It’s student fee dollars, so it’s going to go back to the students,” Girrens said.

Branton-Housley said ASAP normally plans for 4,000 to 4,500 students to show up to these events, and the Homecoming concert had over 7,000 in attendance.

Of the 6,200 free student tickets, the first 1,200 were floor seats.

Although some say the floor was not to capacity, Girrens said that if that number weren’t set, the floor would have overflowed with students.

“Everyone wants to be as close as possible,” Girrens said. “It didn’t look like a bunch of people were on the floor, but in reality, a ton of people were on the floor.”

Palmer and senior political science major Seth Walter said they felt that the selection process was less-than-adequate.

“Not everyone wanted to see that concert,” Palmer said, suggesting they should have done a student survey.

Walter understands the popularity of hip-hop, but he would “personally would like to see a different genre.”

Kogut said ASAP found two very popular acts in the timeline they had.

“No matter who we brought, regardless of genre, we got the best we could,” Kogut said. “They did exactly what we asked, they put on a hell of a show.”

Assistant News Editor Johnny Hart can be reached at news@collegian.com.

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