By Alexa Solis
Hordes of students gathered in front of the Joe Crowley Student Union in late August. Crowds cheered and sang along, a student in a wheelchair crowd-surfed the nearly four thousand attendees. The G-Eazy concert put on by the Associated Students of the University of Nevada programming on Aug. 31 was the most successful concert put on by ASUN.
However, the Timeflies concert on Thursday night was most certainly not. The show was held at the Reno Events Center with the expectation that the turnout would similar to that of G-Eazy or Diplo.
“[The turnout for Timeflies] was definitely pretty low compared to our old concerts,” said Ron Delos Santos, assistant programming director of ASUN. “G-Eazy was a hit, Diplo a little bit less attendance, and this one had about [1,300 tickets sold].”
According to Delos Santos, both Diplo and Timeflies saw lower student interest and attendance than G-Eazy. Delos Santos attributed the low attendance to a lack of knowledge, a lack of promotion and the RL Grime concert at the Knitting Factory falling on the same night.
Reno is too small for there to be two successful concerts of the same genre on the same night, according to Delos Santos.
While attendance at the Timeflies show was low, Delos Santos was pleased with the general direction of the programming board as they move toward bigger name artists and higher attendance.
Previously the board was split into three parts;⎯ unity, traditions and flipside. Each separate board dealt with specialized areas in homecoming events, student engagement and event planning respectively. Beginning this past school year, the three programming boards were consolidated into one.
The merging of the three boards gave ASUN programming a larger budget to work with. Together the departments have a budget of $357,372.72, according to the Fiscal Year 2014 simplified budget.
“I think for the first year having the programming board consolidated into one, having a budget this big, we set some precedents and records,” Delos Santos said. “I think that the best thing that could happen is that programming boards will learn from us ⎯ what we did good, what we did bad.”
A larger budget and the unprecedented turnout for G-Eazy led the board to believe that the new goals for the ASUN programming board are oriented towards big-ticket acts in larger venues and huge student involvement for Delos Santos.
While Delos Santos said that the board is heading in the right direction, Tom Snider, station manager of Wolf Pack Radio, feels that this is not the case. According to Snider, the ASUN programming board is not fully representative of the student body. Snider cited page 21 of Joint Vision 2017, which notes the importance of ending the board’s monopoly as the only student event planning entity on campus. For Snider, there are ways for ASUN and other campus organizations to become involved in the artist selection process.
“We are the college radio station on campus and it would help [diversify the acts],” Snider said. “We’re the ones getting all this new music, we’re the ones sitting here and digging all day. We get new music from promoters around the country, so it doesn’t make sense [that ASUN doesn’t] come to us.”
The Joint Vision 2017 looks to make the programming board more diverse, however Snider sees a fault in the ASUN programming board’s make-up with most of the programming board being Greek. According to Snider, it’s not a fair representation of the student body. Snider hopes to see one representative of Wolf Pack Radio on the programming board in the future, noting that it’s a good start to incorporate the broader interests of the student body at large.
Delos Santos acknowledged that a majority of the ASUN programming board is Greek, but noted that the majority of the interested applicants were members of fraternities and sororities.
Lack of promotion was one of the several reasons Delos Santos cited when describing the poor turnout at the Timeflies show. The dearth in advertising for ASUN concerts is often due to the time constraints put on the board from planning, according to Delos Santos.
“Usually we shoot for at least three months [in advance while planning concerts],” Delos Santos said. “That’s just the safest time to go. This concert, for example, we’ve been planning on doing this one since the beginning of October. We’ve been in contact with Timeflies’ agent since then.”
Chris Payne, a radio DJ on KRZQ, noted that not booking an event early enough can lead to all sorts of logistical problems.
“It’s definitely a budget thing,” Payne said. “If not then it’s a routing thing based on who’s available whenever they’re trying to book the show. Whoever is in charge needs to think six to nine months in advance, if not a year.”
Both Payne and Delos Santos agreed that earlier planning could alleviate some of the growing pains, but Snider noted that the artists that the university bids for are also important. According to Snider, it is important for the university to look at up-and-coming acts that won’t be expensive for the university, but will still gain interest.
Delos Santos expressed a similar sentiment, but stated that there is a fine line when defining up-and-comer. When looking at artists, the programming board often considers availability, genre and notoriety according to Delos Santos.
“The thing with programming now is that we’re such a young board,” Delos Santos said. “Anything can happen, and everything probably will happen. We’re just learning what’s good, what’s bad. We like working with people, we’re not a narrow-minded group. We like to learn, we like to get other people’s opinions. “