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The Daily Tar Heel

CUAB acts meet with mixed success

A Year in Review

From a sex columnist to multiple North Carolina rappers, the Carolina Union Activities Board has explored a spectrum of performance acts this past year.

CUAB’s year began with speaker Dan Savage, a popular sex columnist and founder of the “It Gets Better Project.”

Savage brought an interpretation of his newspaper column “Savage Love” to the stage on Feb. 2, welcoming students to ask questions about love, sex and relationships in his talk.

CUAB spent $18,500 to contract Savage and offered the lecture free to students.

Grace Peter, CUAB’s 2011-12 culture chair, said she hoped the lecture would attract students by addressing a popular issue among the college-aged demographic.

Disc jockey and music producer Diplo performed at Memorial Hall on Oct. 6.

CUAB’s contract with Diplo totalled $30,000, and only 857 of the total 1,434 tickets for the event were sold.

Trevor Dougherty, a UNC sophomore and resident DJ at Pulse Nightclub opened for Diplo.

“Diplo is great — he’s like a god to me,” said Dougherty, who is known as DJ “good ratio.”

The 2012 Homecoming Concert on Nov. 4 brought rapper and North Carolina native J. Cole to Chapel Hill.

Cole’s price tag was a lofty $105,000. In his contract, Cole’s “must” list included 100 mild or lemon pepper wings and a pack of black Polo Ralph Lauren crew neck T-shirts.

Bringing Cole was CUAB’s attempt to appeal to a broader audience, and the organization was successful, selling out Carmichael Arena. The organization chose Cole based on student input from a whiteboard survey.

CUAB brought speaker Bill Nye, known for his science show, to campus on Nov. 8.

Tickets sold out the first day, and Nye lectured to a full house, encouraging the audience to “change the world.”

“Seeing Bill Nye was like a childhood dream come true,” said Jessye Halvorson, a UNC freshman. “He was amazing then and he still is now.”

The organization is closing out its year with a lecture by poetic and intellectual rapper Common today.

CUAB’s 2011 performance selections faced relative disinterest — selling only 16 percent of tickets for Homecoming headliners The New Pornographers. But the organization has focused on appealing to a broader audience.

“It’s frustrating for us when students are unhappy with the events that we plan because we want them to be involved with us,” said Tom Low, CUAB’s 2012-13 president.

“We want student opinion to be more involved and tangible.”

Contact the desk editor at arts@dailytarheel.com.

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