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Macklemore To Head Modstock

Spring Concert Cancelled, UGBC Announces That "Thrift Shop" Sensation Will Headline Modstock

Assoc. News Editor

Published: Sunday, February 24, 2013

Updated: Sunday, February 24, 2013 20:02



The Undergraduate Government of Boston College (UGBC) has cancelled the Spring Concert and is placing the entirety of their funding into Modstock, UGBC’s annual outdoor concert held on the last day of classes. Macklemore, the Seattle-based rapper who recently gained worldwide attention for his single “Thrift Shop,” will be headlining the show. The concert will be held on Thursday, May 2, from 4:00 to 7:00 p.m., and will be free and open to the general public.

Dan Rimm and Mike Cavoto, co-directors of Campus Entertainment and both A&S ’13, began planning for the spring semester events last fall. After receiving feedback from the Boston College student body, UGBC’s Campus Entertainment made the decision to cancel the Spring Concert and instead plan for a larger Modstock. The $35,000 budgeted for the Spring Concert has been added to the $60,000 budget for this year’s Modstock.

“We were reevaluating how we do programming on campus and were trying to see how we can give students the most for their money,” Rimm said. “Looking back at the ticket sales over the past couple of years, people haven’t been as interested in the Spring Concert. We have consistently sold out the Fall Concerts and then roughly 1,000 to 3,000 people have attended the Spring Concerts, as opposed to the 5,000 we need for a sellout. And because of that, in the past, we have needed to downsize the Modstocks … We have been asking students for feedback this year, really trying to gauge opinions. It turns out that students like the idea of a Spring Concert but, because of the way it has worked out, no one really gets that excited for the shows. So we suggested the idea, what if we just do a really big Modstock and Plex show?”

In the past, Modstock has been a last-minute planned event. Money is limited and artists are generally booked within a week to two days before the end-of-the-year show.

“Since attendance has been declining for Spring Concerts, the budgets that we can put towards Modstock are significantly affected,” Cavoto said.

Student turnout to concerts has dropped dramatically in recent years.

After hosting two consecutive concerts that featured between 30 and 40 alcohol transports, last year’s Fall Concert was cancelled. The 2012 Spring Concert, featuring Third Eye Blind and Nelly, was the first concert to start at 5 p.m., in attempts to limit students’ alcohol consumption.

This year, Campus Entertainment decided to take a different route—putting their budgets for both spring shows into Modstock in the hope that the outdoor concert, and a bigger artist, would be more appealing to the BC student body. While the concert curfew still stands, the spring Modstock will be unaffected, as it typically begins in the afternoon of the last day of classes.

“We felt that the best way to reach the most students was for the show to be free,” Cavoto said. “There are already a ton of ticketed events on and off campus. Additionally, the sound quality in Conte was a frequent complaint, so we wanted to bring an artist of Macklemore and Ryan Lewis' caliber to a free, open venue where the most amount of students will be able to participate at no cost.”

Campus Entertainment began planning for Macklemore last semester.

“Our biggest thing was getting him early,” Cavoto said. “We have been listening to his music for the last few years and in December—which is earlier than we usually do our ticketed Conte events—we booked him. We knew we had to get him early because he was exploding.

“With Macklemore, everyone on campus just seemed to love it so much and talk about him.We had so many people coming up to us and ask for Macklemore for the Spring Concert. So we decided to see if we could actually do this.”

Chris Osnato, UGBC President and A&S ’13, was just as excited for the show.

“I’m pumped,” Osnato said. “Pumped for Macklemore, pumped for the show he and Ryan Lewis will put on, and pumped to offer it to students for free. It’s going to be awesome. Mark your calendars now.”

Macklemore will be performing at Modstock with Ryan Lewis, a music producer, musician, and DJ. The two artists recently released their debut studio album The Heist, which charted at number two on the U.S. Billboard 200 chart and sold 78,000 copies in the first week. Macklemore’s music video for “Thrift Shop” has been viewed on YouTube more than 110 million times, and reached number one on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart.

Macklemore will be touring at numerous colleges this spring, including a performance at MIT on April 26, a week before Modstock. The MIT concert will be a ticketed and paid event.

Modstock will likely  see larger crowds than in recent years and Campus Entertainment is preparing for the event, the co-directors said.

“The most comparable artist to Macklemore is Sugar Ray,” Cavoto said. “We had several thousand people there and it was really fun. They are similar in the sense that they’re both really good performers, they interact with the audience a lot. So, there are obviously special precautions that need to be taken to make sure the students and artist are safe. We have been in contact with external security … We really don’t want to see any students climbing the barricades.”

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