Plans for the spring Jubilee concert are underway, with a music genre survey currently available and no fall Homecoming concert to compete for funding.
Carolina Union Activities Board President Neil Harwani said there will be a Homecoming comedy show in place of a fall concert. CUAB stopped hosting fall concerts in order to have a better budget for Jubilee, he said.
“If we try to do a relatively large name in the fall, that just doesn’t leave enough funding for the spring,” Harwani said. “There is a lot more that goes into a concert other than just purchasing the artist for a certain amount of time.”
In the past, CUAB surveyed students on which artist they preferred rather than a genre, but Harwani said the strategy was ineffective.
The Weeknd, an alternative R&B artist, was the most popular choice among students, but budgeting issues resulted in the country artist Chase Rice performing instead.
Harwani said pricing for artists is tricky as artists grow in popularity.
“We realized that in the music industry, when you look at an artist today and then look at him or her three months down the road, their prices can drastically change,” Harwani said.
“On our first survey last year, The Weeknd was super popular and during that time when we put the survey out ... The Weeknd was affordable with our budget. Then, by the time that we got the results back, got the venue and everything set, his prices had doubled.”
Senior Marketa Burnett was upset when the artist who received the most votes did not perform in the spring.
“I think if they are going to ask students what they want to see, that it mirrors what students actually said," Burnett said. "I think a lot of students were really upset about that. It felt like their voices didn’t matter."
Asking genre preference instead of artists is supposed to guarantee students the type of music they like. The CUAB Board and committee members — made up of over 200 students — will decide on the specific artist once the results are in.
Junior Trinity Johnson said she would like to see an artist who reaches a greater audience.
“I don’t know if there are really any neutral artists that do appeal to all people, but we do have pop culture," Johnson said. "So, maybe we could get a pop artist in here one day."
Sophomore Matt Mattoni said he would prefer a more popular artist, like Chance the Rapper.
“I think a lot of schools get more fun people, for people our age,” Mattoni said.
Harwani said schools like Duke University and N.C. State University have much larger student fees, which is why they are able to afford bigger named artists. He said artists like Rihanna or Drake would cost CUAB their entire budget.
“We, across the UNC system, we have the lowest fee per student, and we still do pretty amazing events that are really well-attended by Carolina students,” he said.
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