Evaluating entertainment

The recent announcement that All-Campus Entertainment (ACE) did not procure a concert for Homecoming has broad implications for the future of Homecoming festivities at the College. In its last minute proposal to College Council (CC), ACE advocated a budget of over $80,000 toward booking a Homecoming act, which CC rejected. While it is unfortunate that the budget proposal to CC was executed poorly, ACE should take this opportunity to reconsider its vision for concert entertainment at the College.

In place of a major Homecoming concert, ACE will host a free event that could appeal to a greater number of students than the typical Homecoming concert does. Previous Homecoming concerts typically cost around $20 to attend, and some students were not able or willing to attend the concerts due to this fee. In addition to being less cost prohibitive for students, a free Homecoming event will also appeal to students who were merely more selective with where they spent their money.

Additionally, recent acts were often not well received, and attendance at these concerts has dwindled. Accordingly, ACE should use this opportunity to reconsider the value of a Homecoming concert, potentially choosing to seek out several smaller acts instead of hosting one expensive concert. Scattering concerts throughout the year would increase the reach of such events, as more students would be able to attend the concerts and different acts would appeal to different constituents.

This year’s programming change could mark a positive change for ACE’s agenda, but in order to move away from booking large Homecoming concerts and toward booking multiple smaller concerts, the ACE Concerts Committee would need to put forth a stronger effort in organizing its budget and its booking process. Part of the purpose of restructuring ACE two years ago was to increase the number of students involved in ACE, and booking acts that will appeal to the campus would likely require a more numerous staff of dedicated students. Additionally, as the original plan for the Homecoming concert fell through due to budgetary issues, it would be beneficial for leaders on ACE to work more closely with the Finance Committee in order to garner a better understanding of how CC funding operates. Finally, ACE might be more successful if it worked in tandem with other student groups when planning concerts and events for the campus. This would equip planning teams with more manpower and a broader demographic, hopefully reinvigorating ACE’s efforts to bring entertainment to campus.

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