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Spring Concert Sends No Students To The Hospital

Assoc. News Editor

Published: Thursday, April 26, 2012

Updated: Wednesday, January 9, 2013 19:01

After hosting two consecutive concerts that featured between 30 and 40 alcohol-related medical transports, the UGBC has managed to organize a concert that didn’t send a single Boston College student to the hospital.

“No one was sent to the hospital,” said Mark Miceli, associate director of the Student Programs Office. “We’re very happy about the concert. It’s a great outcome.”

The 2012 Spring Concert featured a total of three medical incidents, only two of which were alcohol-related. These students were treated by Eagle EMS in conjunction with the BCPD and then released.

The event, which was headlined by Third Eye Blind and Nelly, ended the moratorium placed on concerts held at Conte Forum by the administration after the large number of transports at the Fall and Spring Concerts of the 2010-2011 academic year. Last Friday’s concert was only allowed after a number of UGBC-proposed measures intended to limit drinking were accepted by the administration as part of its review of the future of concerts in Conte. The adopted measures included an earlier start time, an earlier doors-close time, and bigger headliners.

“I don’t think you can attribute the decrease in transports to one particular factor,” Miceli said. “I’m sure there were a lot of factors involved. The earlier start time resulted in an earlier doors-close time. The UGBC and Sharon Blumenstock, the assistant director in our office who was advising the concert, did an excellent job of getting the doors-close time out. We actually had everyone in the concert by 6:10, which I think was a huge contributing factor.”

Though the planned anti-drinking measures were certainly effective, Miceli believes unanticipated consequences of the time change also played a role in limiting alcohol consumption.

“A factor we didn’t consider was that Conte Forum has skylights,” he said. “It was relatively light in the arena during almost all of Third Eye Blind’s set. I’m sure that had somewhat of an impact on students’ ability to consume while they were actually at the venue.”

Since Conte Forum is BC’s only venue large enough to hold concerts with big name headliners, and it is frequently booked by the athletics department, the UGBC and administration often only have one or two days to pick from when planning concerts. The random date that was available for the Spring Concert this year may have helped to curb drinking, as well.

“Whether 4/20 had an impact on this as well … it could very well have been,” Miceli said. “I’m not saying we saw a ton of high students either, but it might have had an impact on the consumption of alcohol.”

The administration planned to use the Spring Concert as a test to see whether future concerts should be allowed in Conte. The absence of transports from the event greatly increased the likelihood that future concerts will be allowed by the administration.

“As far as I know, the UGBC hasn’t requested a Fall Concert yet, but given what happened, we probably would approve one” Miceli said. “We haven’t actually done the post-concert assessment with the UGBC and our stakeholders yet, which is part of the new post-concert protocol to see what went well and what didn’t go well, but my assumption would be that a fall concert is a very strong possibility.”

Any future concerts will likely mimic the changes that were implemented with last Friday’s show.

“In terms of start time, that is certainly going to continue,” Miceli said. “The strong doors closed time also worked out really well. Those are two things we are definitely going to continue.”

On top of being successful from a student safety perspective, the differences in the most recent concert also helped to sell out the show.

“Even with the early start time, all 4,800 tickets we offered sold out,” Miceli said. “We haven’t seen those kinds of numbers in a really long time. I think a large part of that is artist selection. We’ve been going down this road where we pair two dissimilar artists, and that’s been working out pretty well because it cross-populates the audience, which increases ticket sales.”

Even though the early start time of the concert created more work for the administration and UGBC, including assembling the stage Thursday night and moving it into place Friday morning, Miceli said he would be willing to do it again.

“The logistics are more complicated to do an earlier show, but the outcome was more positive,” he said. “We’re happy, the students are happy, so I think it’s a win-win.”

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