Editorial: Spring concerts should take priority

Staff Editorial

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On Friday, Eastern saw a sold-out spring concert for the first time in several years.

According to an article in The Daily Eastern News called “Spring concert sells out, sees positive response,” Ceci Brinker said she has only seen two or three sold out student-focused concerts during her time involved. Brinker has been the director of student life for more than 12 years.

This year’s chosen artist, Panic! at the Disco, sold out on April 9, with 3,100 tickets sold.

While the cost was higher than a normal spring concert, the University Board was able to use the money saved from the canceled Family Weekend concert to book a better band for the spring concert. According to Brinker, the usual budget for the concert is between $25,000 and $40,000, but they paid $75,500 for Panic! at the Disco and opening act LOLO.

Thousands of concertgoers flocked to see the show, coming from Eastern and other parts of the state, including other universities.

In September 2015, the University Board announced Three Dog Night would headline the Family Weekend concert on October 10.

On October 4, the concert was canceled due to health concerns with the band, leaving the UB with a little over a week to plan “Family Funfest,” a family version of “Up All Night,” to replace the concert.

According to Brinker, the UB saved about $45,000 from the cancellation, allowing the UB to use that money to get a bigger spring concert artist.

Doesn’t it make more sense to bring one large artist to campus instead of two smaller ones that will not bring in a lot of people?

The Three Dog Night concert had only sold about 600 tickets when it was canceled a week before the show. If you assume the average family going to the concert has 4 people that means only 150 students were planning to go to the concert with their families, out of the roughly 8,000 students we had at the time.

And oftentimes, parents only go to the concert because there is nothing else to do that evening.

A nice addition, “Family Funfest” last year included an interactive game show, a ventriloquist comedian, a hypnotist and giveaways. Even without the “Family Funfest,” there were plenty of other events going on during the weekend. There was an Eastern choir concert, a comedian juggler, an annual 5K run, the football game and tailgate, an ROTC pancake breakfast, and a wine tasting event among others. The UB also has Bingo on Friday night, which typically has a large turnout. Without the concert on Saturday, families can still have a fun-filled weekend with their son or daughter.

While they have had well-known bands in the past, such as Styx, Foreigner, Drake, and Lupe Fiasco, in more recent years, the acts brought in for Family Weekend and the spring concert have been average.

It would be much smarter to invest in a spring concert artist that will sell more tickets and bring in fans than just bringing in an artist because it’s Family Weekend.

Without a Family Weekend concert, there are still plenty of things to do with your family during the weekend. You could go shopping at local businesses on the Square, visit the Lincoln Log Cabin, take a hike or have a picnic at Fox Ridge State Park, visit the Lincoln Douglas Debate Museum, or go see the UB movie.

The daily editorial is the majority opinion of the editorial board of The Daily Eastern News