Students around the University of New Hampshire have very mixed feelings regarding the upcoming fall concert that SCOPE (Student Committee on Popular Entertainment) has planned for this Saturday. Of ten students randomly surveyed on campus, five bought tickets with plans of attending the concert where the other five had no intention of seeing the show.
The majority of students who bought tickets to show were either fans of hip-hop music or just simply loved concerts and didn’t want to miss out. On the other hand, students uninterested in the concert either had never heard of the acts or already had plans to travel home that weekend for extra time during Thanksgiving break.
The performers in question are Lil Uzi Vert and Joey Bada$$ featuring Amine and is scheduled for November 19th from 8–11 p.m. Lil Uzi Vert, formerly known as Symere Woods is a twenty-two year old hip hop / trap rapper from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Similarly, Joey Bada$$ is a twenty-one year old hip-hop rapper from Brooklyn, New York. The two young rappers seem to be rising in popularity according to their appearances on top charts.
Amine, the feature performance, is another up-and-coming rap act from Portland, Oregon who seems to have students excited. One popular song of his in particular called, “Caroline” is actually the reason some students have made the decision to go to the performance.
“I was excited to hear who it was, but I only knew a few Joey Bada$$ songs and of course I go absolutely crazy for Amine’s ‘Caroline’” explained sophomore Bri Miller, “So I looked them up and started to listen to Lil Uzi more and found to like him a lot.”
Other students like Miller who had never heard of the performers also decided to look them up but weren’t as pleased with what they found. Students like senior communications major Emily Luc expressed their frustration with the smaller-named artists.
Luc is not the only student confused and frustrated with the lack of ‘bigger names’. Both her and Erin Condon had answered they would prefer an artist such as the Chainsmokers, where Taylor Livingston, Bri Miller and Nick Tsouigas all expressed their hopes of a Chance the Rapper concert.
“For once I was hoping SCOPE would bring someone big but I didn’t even know who these acts were; I had to look them up,” Luc explained, “I wish they would bring someone relevant in the top 40 charts.”
It’s funny Luc, as well as other students mentioned SCOPE bringing someone relevant to the college generation because according to SCOPE’s current Hospitality Director, Kelsey Aten, so much work goes into trying to find an artist relevant to a college campus. The first step in the process of choosing an artist involves looking at the results of the post-concert survey SCOPE puts out after every concert.
This survey is crucial to SCOPE in determining who they will bring next because it tells them what students are looking for in upcoming shows, what shows students have attended in the past and what artists they are requesting. After their survey analysis, the organization researches up-and-coming artists that are gaining popularity on music sites such as Soundcloud, Spotify and Billboard100.
“We look to find small, cheaper artists that will be “blown up” by the time they come to UNH,” explained Aten. Aten’s explanation of how musicians are chosen proves the organization does try to please as many students as they can by trying to determine what it is that the campus wants to see next. Although this part of the planning phase is considered the fun part to students as obsessed with music as SCOPE is, there are also many challenging factors when it comes to planning the event.
One of the biggest challenges SCOPE faced this time around which subsequently resulted in less students being on campus was securing a date for the concert. Since the concerts take place in the Whittemore Center where the UNH Division I hockey team also plays, SCOPE has to coordinate with the Whittemore Center to make sure none of their dates coincide. Unfortunately, the hockey team had a very packed schedule this season leaving SCOPE with just three potential dates to choose from.
Once they have their dates to work with, SCOPE then must narrow their search to look for artists with availability those few dates. This fall, SCOPE settled on a weekend night where many students had already made travel plans for Thanksgiving, which resulted in less potential concert-goers for them.
“I’m not a huge fan of any of the artists but I really enjoy all of the shows they put on,” shared junior nursing student Kiley Mckenna, “I definitely would have gone to this just to go, but unfortunately I already made my travel plans home for Thanksgiving.”
Even if SCOPE was able to find a more popular artist for another date, they probably wouldn’t have been able to afford it. This is another issue SCOPE faces each semester, the limit of popular artists on a strict budget. With most of their money coming from revenue of previous concerts, they do not have a lot to work with.
Since they charge students less than $30 for most shows, it’s hard to make a profitable income after paying for each show; therefore making it harder to pay for ‘bigger’ names. Students sometimes forget these large challenges SCOPE has to face and takes out their frustration on the organization without realizing the background.
Although there are still a handful of floor and bowl seats left for the show, Aten is confident in a similar turnout to other concerts held of this caliber.
“I think that this was a great choice for UNH,” Aten expressed, “At this time, you will hear all three of these artists’ music on throughout campus, at parties or at the bars. The names have been buzzing and we have gotten a lot of positive feedback.”