Springfest Concert Q & A
We’ve gotten a lot of questions from students about Springfest 2012 and who will be performing at the concert. Devon MacIver from OSL takes a few minutes to answer the most common questions and add some clarity and transparency to the selection process.
Who is playing Springfest 2012? Unfortunately we aren’t releasing the headliner for the Springfest 2012 show just yet, check back tomorrow! We can share the date. March 30, 2012. Mark your calendars. Oxy +1 if we can keep the show outside, but it may be reduced to Oxy only if weather doesn’t cooperate. Alumni you’ll are invited again, look for an email soon!
What is one thing you wish students knew about the process? Coachella is a problem. What do we have against a multiple weekend music festival? Two words-- radius clause. Golden Voice, the group that sponsors Coachella, has a clause in the Coachella contract that does not allow for groups to perform in a certain radius around the Coachella valley (which includes Los Angeles) from the time they sign the contract until 30 days after the festival. That means that any act that is in negotiations to perform, slated to perform, or hoping to perform will not seriously look at offers to perform in LA. Golden Voice does this to make sure that the demand for the group isn’t watered down, why go all the way to Coachella to see the Black Keys if they are playing the Staple Center a week before? You’ll may have noticed that this year, Golden Voice announced performances by some smaller Coachella artists around the LA area...what about the radius clause? Well all the venues are owned and operated by Golden Voice. Groups can seek exceptions to this portion of the contract, but so far we haven’t had a group willing to take on this battle!
What are some of the criteria in selecting an artist? We want to bring a show that students are going to be excited about. In the past we’ve sent a survey to students asking what type of genre, if current radio play is important or not, etc. What we’ve found is that Oxy students have a wide array of musical interests, and although the survey is a great idea on paper, it doesn’t give guidance towards one particular type of show. So we start by brainstorming as large of a list as possible and work from there. Assuming an act is available, what we look for: name recognition, most recent album release date, chart history, etc. After we hosted Snoop Dogg in 2011, we received feedback that the tone and types of messages portrayed in song lyrics and by the artist in general were important to the community, and something that we should consider when exploring artists.
When did you start the process to select the Springfest act? We started conversations towards the end of October, and were on-going until late January when we had an offer accepted.
I heard some students wanted a female artist this year, how did that factor in? Yes, there were a few students who asked if we could try to showcase a female performer. We’ve had mostly male performers for the past few years, a fact that can’t be argued. We agreed that showcasing a strong female presence on stage should be a priority and worked with the students to generate a list of possible acts. Unfortunately we do not have a female performer this year. I realize that is may be a disappointment but if you have suggestions of female performers that you think have mass appeal and we should review please email email@example.com with the subject “concert suggestions”. We can’t guarantee anything, but we will try our hardest!
How do you select the artist/band for a concert? OSL staff works closely with Programming Board to generate a list of acts that we think would play well on campus. Then we work with a middle agency to see what the group is asking as far as price, and if they are available for the dates we have open for the show. When none of our first list is available or in our price range, and that has been the case the last 3 years, we generate a second list. Repeat until necessary and we have an act that we think will play well on campus. We have a great relationship with our middle agent, and often they will suggest acts or let us know if someone will be in the area, in fact that is how we were able to book Snoop Dogg in 2011.
Wait, we’re in LA. Shouldn’t booking an act be easier? Unfortunately being in LA can be a great benefit, for instance Snoop Dogg was at the Kid’s Choice Awards hours before playing at Oxy. Only in LA could we have booked him. However this also presents some limitations. Our shows are for students and the Occidental community, and in order to keep this a truly community event, it is only open to Oxy students. This means that for our best and most packed shows, we can only realistically hope for around 1500 people. Unfortunately that isn’t as exciting an audience as playing a sold out date at the Staples Center, when you may get a portion of the ticket sales.
We hope this helps you understand how the Springfest 2012 concert performer was selected. Check back on Oxy411 tomorrow to find out who will be performing at Springfest 2012!