All-Campus Entertainment (ACE) announced that a bid for Mike Posner to headline the Homecoming concert on Nov. 11 is in the process of being finalized. Das Racist will be the opening act. ACE allotted the majority of its $81,000 concert budget to this performance, keeping in line with its decision last year to have its main concert during Homecoming weekend, as opposed to during Spring Fling.
“I’m excited for the concert,” ACE President Brad Polsky ’12 said. “This is the second year that we’ve had the bigger concert in the fall. For this school, I think it’s the best way of organizing concerts, and it’ll help us to continue to attract big names in the future.”
Thomas Daubert ’13, co-president of ACE’s concert committee, said that ACE’s goal “is to find an artist popular enough with the campus that we can sell out the show to maximize profit for additional shows.” Daubert added that ACE also looks to find an artist that has had a few top singles.
According to Chris Picardo ’13, co-president of ACE’s concert committee, Posner was also selected because he has been said to give a “great live show.” Daubert added, “He’s a really relaxed guy.”
The opener, Das Racist, is a rap trio known for its cult following. “They will be a fun opener, something totally different from Mike Posner,” Picardo said. “We’re trying to get all sorts of people represented.”
ACE’s concert budget comes from money allocated by College Council (CC). The final talent bid for Posner was $40,000, and Das Racist cost $12,500. ACE also allocates between $15,000 and $20,000 for the production cost. The remainder of the concert budget, plus all revenue generated from the Homecoming concert, will be used to pay for the Spring Fling act.
According to Picardo, ACE allocated a comparable portion of its concert budget to this year’s Homecoming concert as they have in past years. “The level of talent [we can hire] is essentially determined by CC,” Picardo said. “We get the biggest name for what we’re given.”
ACE has particularly high hopes for this year’s Homecoming concert, given the general lack of satisfaction with last year’s act, Kid Cudi. “Even with all the hype around the Kid Cudi show, the quality of his performance disappointed many,” Daubert said.
“[Cudi] didn’t give as good of a show as we expected him to give,” Picardo said. He added that this year’s concert will be different from last year’s, given the vast contrast between the two artists.
Daubert, Picardo and an agent ACE uses to secure the main act made the plans for the Homecoming concert over the summer. Picardo explained the process: “We give the agent a list of names we’re interested in, a date and a price range, and he shoots back a list. He has a good idea of who has been really good live and who hasn’t. He then gives us a tailored list of acts in our price range.”
The agent highly recommended Posner. “We take our agent’s advice very seriously, and that is how we pick our act,” Picardo said.
Ticket sales are a crucial part of the Homecoming concert, as the revenue generated goes toward Spring Fling. “The more tickets we sell, the
better our Spring Fling concert can be,” Picardo said.
Ticket prices for this year’s concert are yet to be finalized, as ACE is currently working on new ways to go about the ticket sale process. “We’re thinking of new ways to do the pre-sale so that hopefully everyone who wants a ticket will get a ticket,” Picardo said. “Ideally, we would sell completely to Williams students.”
According to Picardo, there were flaws in last year’s ticket sale system. “People who didn’t get a ticket complained because the show was sold out in two days,” he said.
“A lot of people had bought tickets that they didn’t need in order to then resell them at high prices,” Polsky added. Students were able to buy excess tickets last year by cheating the online buying system. Student Life is currently working to fix the system.
ACE did not send bids to any other performers for this year’s concert. “We try to send as few bids as possible because it’s a long process,” Daubert said. Posner took one month to get back to ACE after its initial submission of the talent bid.
ACE is currently ironing out some of the smaller details regarding the concert. “Artists tend to request a bunch of stuff the College can’t legally provide,” Daubert said. Artists send ACE a long list of items they want, and then ACE cuts down the list based on what it can provide.
The concert will take place in Towne Field House, which has a capacity of approximately 1100.
“We’re expecting it to be a great show, and we want to see everyone there having fun,” Picardo said.