Putting the cha-ching back in Spring Fling: Why Tory Lanez’s unpaid fees should rollover to next year’s concert budget

May 4, 2016 by The Williams Record Editorial Board

The only silver lining in Tory Lanez’s cancellation of his scheduled Spring Fling performance is that the money he was going to be paid will be returned to the College. This money goes back into the College’s operating budget, but rather than be allocated to other groups, it should be further allocated to next year’s concert budget. Also, though All Campus Entertainment (ACE) is to be commended for their quick secural of DJ Kin3tic the day of the cancellation and concert, the group should take measures to prevent cancellations in the future.

College Council and the Office of Student Life provide ACE with an annual concerts budget. Spring Fling allows students to, at no cost, see performers they might not be able to see otherwise because of financial reasons. Spring Fling is also an event that many students value because there are few other opportunities to see concerts while attending the College due to its remote location, unless students were fortunate enough to score tickets to that Tony Bennett concert in Albany, N.Y. this Friday. Concerts and entertainment events are an important part of student life, which is essential to attracting students to the College and making their experiences positive. For these reasons, Spring Fling should be a priority. If the money saved by Lanez cancelling is put back into the general operating budget, the concerts budget is, in effect, reduced for that year. Instead, the College should give ACE that money to invest in next year’s Spring Fling, increasing its budget and providing an opportunity to bring a more expensive, bigger name artist. Doing so would be a way to make up for this year’s disappointing no-show, as students who attend next spring will enjoy a bigger-than-usual concert, possibly featuring an artist with a top-40 hit or an album or just someone with a Wikipedia page.

Spring Fling is one of ACE’s best attended events, so it makes sense to spend more on it. Since so many students go, the price per head for Spring Fling can be relatively low despite being the most expensive event overall. While providing alternative events for students who choose not to drink or party is an important part of ACE’s role as a student organization, it still makes more sense to budget much more for a concert hundreds of students will attend than for a magician who will perform on a Wednesday night in front of six students trying to ignore him and do homework in Baxter Hall, while an uneaten stack of Hot Tomatoes pizzas slowly cools to room temperature.

Since three of the last four artists invited to Spring Fling have cancelled or rescheduled, ACE should now begin to take steps to prevent this from happening again. It should consider adding punitive measures for cancellation in its contracts with artists, such as a fee for not appearing. It would also be worthwhile to consider artists’ reputations for reliability before booking them.

Many students looked forward to finding out who Lanez was at Spring Fling, but only found themselves disappointed. ACE should get the opportunity make up for Lanez’s cancellation with the rollover of his unpaid fee, allowing it to work with a bigger budget next year and perhaps an even bigger-name artist. Moving forward, ACE needs to look for ways to prevent last-minute cancellations like this from happening again.

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