After Spring Fling headliners Macklemore and Ryan Lewis canceled their April 14 concert to appear on MTV, All-Campus Entertainment (ACE), in conjunction with the Office of Student Life, worked with Macklemore and his people to reschedule the show for April 22. The original concert, which sold out within minutes of tickets going on sale, was canceled when the duo invoked their contract’s standard 30-day cancelation policy (“Macklemore cancels highly-anticipated spring fling concert,” Feb. 27). According to the all-campus e-mail sent Sunday night, ACE and Student Life spent the following month “diligently working with Macklemore and Ryan Lewis’s team to make a show happen.”
The new show will take place in the Towne Field House, with doors opening at 8 p.m. Vera Flash, an unsigned electronic pop artist based in Brooklyn, N.Y., will be opening for the star duo at 9 p.m. Macklemore and Lewis will take the stage at 10 p.m.
“Vera came on our radar earlier this year via her mother who works in the children’s center at Williams,” Lamb said. Gabriel Stephens ’15, co-chair of the ACE Concerts Committee, considered Flash a great fit for the concert. “I’m hugely enthusiastic about Vera Flash,” he said. “I gave her a listen and thought she was a stylistic mixture of M.I.A. and Santigold, with a voice like if Lana Del Ray was less wispy and had better beats.” ACE Concerts considered booking Flash for a standalone performance, but they decided she would make a good opener for Macklemore instead. “Cost was a major factor,” as ACE Concerts “[is] dealing with a shoestring budget at this point,” Lamb said, but they also felt Flash would compliment the star well. “Macklemore’s team agreed that she was a good opener,” and she “seems like she will be on the rise in the near future.”
Prospects for rescheduling the concert improved when College Council (CC) approved an increase in ticket prices, from $15 to $27.50 including processing fees, to enable a change in venue (“CC approves significant increase in spring concert ticket prices,” March 13). Originally, 800 tickets were sold at $17 for a performance in Lasell; ACE announced in its most recent e-mail that there will be 1140 tickets available for the April 22 concert, as it will take place in the Town Field House, which is a significantly larger space.
The first 300 tickets go on sale thursday at 7 p.m. in Paresky, for $25, and the remaining 840 will be available online friday morning, starting at 8 a.m., for $25 plus about a $3 processing fee, for Williams students only. Any remaining tickets will be opened to broader Williams community on April 18, for $33 including processing.
The price given for online sales in the announcement e-mail, $28 including vendor fees, exceeded the maximum limit set by CC by $0.50. Assistant Director of Student Life Benjamin Lamb explained that “the $3 is a rounded up number.” As it’s a “combination of a standard utility fee from the website, plus an amount calculated by credit card companies,” the fee will “probably be a random number like $2.57 or $2.42,” which would put it closer to or below the approved price ceiling. According to Lamb, “currently at the 3.58 percent credit card charge rate, that is the most updated we have, it would be $2.34 in fees per ticket. If the rate goes up and the fee goes over the $2.50 agreed upon maximum, ACE will eat the overage via fundraising efforts.”
Lamb also explained the reasoning behind the venue change. Most importantly, “Lasell was unavailable for a multi-day set of events,” Lamb said. ACE Concerts and Student Life also took into account the “outcry last time for a larger venue,” which was also the reason ACE and CC agreed to increase ticket prices, after ACE’s survey, asking students if they would be okay paying more for the tickets. “We sent out a survey to get the data we needed to make the assertion that the ticket would be made available to those who would want it,” Stephens said. “We presented that data to College Council and they voted that it supported the price increase without alienating too large a proportion of the campus.” The creation of the Entertainment Co-Sponsorship Fund will streamline collaboration between CC and ACE to bring concerts to the College.
Usually, an artist would require a larger fee when playing a larger space, but “because Macklemore really does want to play Williams,” Lamb explained, he was willing to keep the artist fee stationary so that the increased ticket prices are covering the technical requirements for a bigger venue. “In order to afford a large concert in a large capacity venue (such as the Field House), ticket prices need to be at a sufficient level to afford performer fees and technical support,” Lamb said. “Unfortunately if tickets were not $25, this performance would not be possible at all. It is an unfortunate situation that some students will find it prohibitive, but with limited budgets available on the part of CC and ACE, it is the situation we have.”
There is almost no chance Macklemore will cancel again, as we are now “within the 30 day window of the cancellation clause,” Lamb said. Furthermore, he views it as unlikely that the same problems that arose with ticket sales last time will occur. “The majority of the issue with UniversityTickets was human error,” so “we are confident we will not have as many issues this time around,” Lamb said. Most of the problem last time was that the “inundation of requests for new passwords the day of sales last time prevented many people from receiving their access in time.” This means that if people set up their accounts ahead of time, there will hopefully not be a problem.