O.A.R. Turns Conte Around
1,100 Tickets Sold For Friday’s Concert, Main Stage Shifted To Face Three Sections In Conte
Published: Monday, September 23, 2013
Updated: Monday, September 23, 2013 02:09
It was a bumpy start for the UGBC Fall Concert on Friday night. Despite efforts by UGBC to make last-minute push of ticket sales—a promo code that offered students a $5 discount from the originally priced $30 ticket and persistent tweets and Facebook updates—7 p.m. saw only a smattering of students present for the opening act, Moe Pope.
On Wednesday, Sept. 18, two days before the concert, UGBC decided to offer students a discounted ticket price in an attempt to generate higher ticket sales revenue.
“We dropped the ticket price to promote the concert in a different way, seeing as the price change would affect sale volume,” said Matt Nacier, president of UGBC and A&S ’14. “Based off that change, we also realized that some students would feel that they were treated unfairly. So we are going to do a $5 discount for the 700 students who bought tickets before the discount, for another UGBC event.”
Any student who purchased a ticket before Wednesday afternoon will be granted a $5 credit to any large-scale, upcoming UGBC event. The promo code, while an attempt to draw a larger audience on Friday night, was only used by three students. Nacier was disappointed by the low number of students who used the promo code. He attributed the minimal number of sales to a “lack of attention to the pub on the Facebook page.”
The fall concert was one of three events under the titled “Fall Weekend”—the other two events being Thursday night’s BC2Boston Red Sox game and Saturday night’s Annual Boat Cruise. “Fall Weekend” was not a planned structure. When UGBC was left with no other option but to plan the Fall Concert and Boat Cruise on the same weekend, Nacier said that the staff worked to make the best of the situation.
“We attempted to spur excitement with the Fall Weekend,” Nacier said. “The fact that the teams focused and got these events together, and started planning the next events already, I would say is a testament to the staff members of UGBC and we applaud them … I don’t see why we can’t make this a tradition in years to go forth, especially if we put it on a football bye week and have something for students to attend every day of that weekend.”
By Friday night, when the lights hit center stage in Conte Forum, UGBC had sold a little over 1,100 tickets.
The fall concert stage was erected about 20 feet back from the stands facing the main Conte Forum entrance off of Campanella Way, with students filing into the stadium seats with no option to stand close to the stage.
Denise Pyfrom, vice president of programming and A&S ’14, said the decision to change the orientation of the stage was made a few days before the concert.
“On Wednesday, when we realized ticket sales weren’t going to reach capacity of what we had available in Conte Forum, we decided that changing the orientation of the stage would foster a more intimate, comfortable environment,” Pyrfrom said. “And that proved to work out. The artists really liked the setup of the stage.”
Nacier added that students responded positively to the change.
“A lot of students felt really invested in the artists,” he said. “It was different than in years past, when you’re in the far end of Conte and you can barely hear audible sounds … I think going forward, if volume allows it, that is how orientation should be for events.”
For the beginning of the opening act, students scattered through the first 10 rows directly in front of the stage. Most of the attendees remained seated as Moe Pope and his ensemble of an electric violinist, electronic percussionist/DJ, and fellow rapper struggled to engage their audience.
Most attempts were in vain, and even as more people filed in and began to fill the three sections in front of the stage, there was little energy coming from the crowd. At one point toward the end of his set, Christopher Talkin declared to the audience that he would sit down for the rest of his performance, seeing as the spectators were doing so as well.
The rapper finally got the crowd standing by announcing that he was about to play his final song, and from there students showed a bit more energy and gave the act a better sendoff.
Moe Pope finished just before 8 p.m. It was clear that concert attendees had taken note of the fact that they would not be allowed into the venue after that point, because right as the rapper was finishing, the crowd began to swell, filling three sections across up to the rafters in the upper deck.