One of the most highly anticipated events for University of Connecticut students is the Spring Concert, hosted by the SUBOG Concert Committee. During the past year, the committee has dedicated a lot of time and effort into ensuring that this year’s concert goes off without a hitch, making significant changes to their events and increasing student feedback.
One of the biggest changes coming from concert committee is the elimination of the winter concert. Adam Sherif, the Concert Chair for SUBOG, said that this decision allows them to invest more into the fall and spring concerts.
“The issue we were finding was the expense of spring concert would keep increasing year to year with raising artist prices,” said Sherif. “We finally reached a point where we weren't doing enough and needed to start investing more into that show.”
Sherif was also sure to mention that while there would no longer be a winter concert, UConn students would still have an opportunity to see their favorite artists through travel trips which would bring students to off-campus concerts. Last semester, SUBOG gave students a chance to see artists like Halsey, PARTYNEXTDOOR, Charli XCX and Aminé. This semester, students will have the opportunity to attend a Walk the Moon concert, as well as a few others that will be announced later in the semester.
Investing more time and funds into the spring concert has allowed the committee to make some changes to how the concert usually runs. Despite it being early in the planning process, Sherif says this year’s spring concert is going to look very different from those of the past. The committee aims to model the concert after events like ComplexCon or Hot 97’s Summer Jam, which usually have food and vendors at their events.
“The theme has been to focus much more on creating a great experience of the event, focusing on different elements beyond the artist that could be exciting and engaging to students,” said Sherif.
Another way that concert committee has been changing this past year is by increasing student feedback. The committee has sent out surveys asking students what and who they would like to see in upcoming shows.
“The reputation was created that we choose artists for the concerts that we like, or that the committee likes, and that couldn't be further from the truth,” said Sherif. “We choose based on what we think that the general population of UConn would be interested in. The surveys are an effective way to understand and compare different interests.”
The surveys are also helpful in communicating with students who the committee can and cannot afford for upcoming concerts. The surveys outline the committee’s budget and how much they have to spend, as well as naming some artists that fall into their price range.
“First, we wanted people to realistic with their suggestions. SUBOG can't afford Beyoncé or Drake or Jay Z, so those submissions aren't exactly helpful,” said Sherif.
Being openly transparent with their budget ensures that student suggestions will be more productive to the selection process, as students will now know exactly who the committee can afford.
According to Sherif, the top contenders for the spring concert are artists like Khalid, Bastille, Post Malone, 21 Savage, SZA, Big Sean, Logic, Migos and Diplo. Sherif says that these artists are popular among students, and they plan to narrow the choices during their meetings and a focus group that will take place on Feb. 5.
There is still some time before the spring concert, but SUBOG Concert Committee is hopeful that all their hard work will make this year’s concert one to remember.
“In our early planning, the traditional spring concert is beginning to look very different…We're hoping that the differences are noticed and help take the event to the next level,” said Sherif.
Lauren Brown is a staff writer for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.