How We Choose JMU’s Concerts

Hey JMU!  I’m Carrie Martin, the Coordinator of UPB.  During the summer, I work to get things prepared for when you get back in August.  Part of this responsibility includes working with the Center Stage committee to prepare the fall concert survey.  This summer, almost 6,000 of you took the survey to give us your input on whom to bring!  This organization has the responsibility to represent ALL student interests in programming choices, and this huge response on surveys definitely helps to make those decisions easier.  

I’ve noticed, however, that there are a lot of questions about how we make the survey and use the results.  Hopefully this blog post can clear some things up.  

  1. The artists who end up on the survey must meet a few qualifications.  First, they need to be within our price range.  Second, they have to be touring.  We can’t call them at home and ask them to come out just for us.  Third, they have to agree to tour college campuses, and some artists just won’t do it anymore 😦
  2. After we get the results of the survey we think about a lot of things.  Which genre is the most popular?  For every person who says, “If you pick another rap/hip hop artist to come to JMU for the Fall concert, I might consider getting a lobotomy” (actual quote), there is another person who says “no country” or “I’m sick of rock”.  Also, whom can we still afford now that a month has gone by and prices have changed (sometimes drastically)?  Are they available on the few dates that the Convo Center is also available?  There are very few artists that meet all of these qualifications.
  3. Part of our purpose is to bring fun things for you to do all year.  Sometimes I wish we could go all in and spend all the money on a huge artist, but we aren’t allowed to.  And if we could, what would you do for the rest of year?  Plus, I probably wouldn’t have a job anymore!
  4. I’m a fan of some underground bands too, and wish that everyone else shared that love.  However, we have to pick an artist who is going to sell at least 2,500 tickets just to make some of our money back (we never make a profit, and don’t try to).  

Finally, I wanted to give some feedback on some of the survey suggestions we have received:

  • “Dave Matthews Band”, “Lady Gaga”, “Dane Cook”, “Taylor Swift” and others are WAY out of our price range.  These artists typically won’t play college dates either.  Sorry!
  • “Outdoor concert PLEASE!” Due to the outdoor sound policy, we are limited on the times we can hold an outdoor concert.  Since you can’t charge for tickets to an outdoor concert we couldn’t afford a huge artist.  However, we can definitely think of smaller acts for a fun, free outdoor show (and hope for no rain!)
  • “You should offer more floor seats! You had plenty of room left at the Wale Concert!”  We wish we could.  However, we are limited by fire safety guidelines to only 544 tickets.
  • “More Jersey Shore cast” I’m assuming you attended Snooki, and I’m glad you liked it!  But I think we’ll avoid that kind of controversy this year 🙂
  • “The 7th Harry Potter movie at Grafton before it comes out in theatres.”  I WISH.  Wouldn’t it be great if the international premiere was in the ‘burg?  Haha…
  • Finally, “Michael Jackson, The Beatles, Tupac, Janis Joplin, GREMLINS ON THE WINGS OF LOVE.”  Funny!

 There are a TON of great suggestions that we definitely keep in mind.  THANK YOU for such creative ideas – it keeps my job really exciting!  As you continue to think of more, please let us know.  You can always email new event ideas to upb@jmu.edu, become our fan on Facebook and write on our wall, and tweet at us on Twitter!  Keep your eyes open for the fall concert announcement over the next couple months – I promise to try to get someone great!

 -Carrie

Sweet Summertime in Delaware

Hey JMU!  My name is Melissa and I’m the Director of UPB’s Spirit & Traditions committee for this year.  I’ve been spending my summer back home in Delaware, in a small-town, close to UD, actually.  Just like Harrisonburg, it’s a college town, so the summers are a little dead, but I can’t complain.  My oldest brother is getting married in a few weeks, and I’m so excited because this is my first wedding as a bridesmaid!

Aside from wedding details, I’ve been working (of course, who isn’t?!)  I usually feel like I do nothing but work through my summer vacations, but this summer has been a taste of something new.  I’ve been working for my dad in his sign shop and learning a lot of things that I never imagined I would take interest in.  Working in a family business is a new experience for me, but very rewarding.  While learning the daily routine of the store, I’ve also been dabbling in the marketing side of things.  I’ll admit that marketing is not my favorite part to be involved in with a business, but I am picking up on some strategies and things that I can totally see coming in handy with UPB and marketing our events…which by the way are quickly approaching and going to be AMAZING!

As much as I love being home for the summer, I am SO excited about heading back to JMU.  And while I am on the edge of my seat for COB 300 to begin 😉  I am really looking forward to seeing events implemented and new plans rolling for UPB.  For me personally with S&T-I am trying to take some crafty and innovative angles with Late Night Breakfasts and possibly add some new twists to Funny Freakin’ Fridays!  I encourage all of the JMU community to keep an eye out for the awesome events that UPB is bringing your way…you don’t want to miss out!

Keep on keepin’ on everybody!

-Melissa