Concerts to get big boost

Activities Commission will enjoy a significantly enlarged budget for its biannual concerts next year, following the SA Budget Committee's approval Wednesday night.

The concert's budget, which is comprised of an allocation from mandatory student fees and income generated from ticket sales, has already passed the first round of approval. AC's allocation from student fees for the concert will be raised to $57,650, a jump from the $39,280 allotment for the 2007-2008 academic year. In addition, the newly approved budget allocates $60,000 per concert towards performance fees. This number is a substantial increase from this year's total of $75,000 for both the fall and spring shows.

Student Association President Brendan Quinn noted that the additional funding will allow Geneseo to secure higher-quality acts for the fall and spring concerts.

"Over the past few years, the cost of concert acts touring colleges is going up and up," he said. "Combined with the fact that Geneseo's funding has always been low in comparison to other schools, we've had a lot of trouble getting really good acts. This will make a big difference."

Senior Travis Sackett, current concert coordinator, also believes the larger budget will allow for sophomore Emily Lambe, the concert coordinator for 2008-2009, to select an act that better appeals to a broad range of students' interest. Both Sackett and Lambe, however, acknowledge that many mainstream artists are still very costly. That factor, coupled with wide ranging differences in music tastes, makes securing a performer that appeals to everyone's preference near impossible.

"There's definitely a generational gap with students here," Sackett said. "Some students want older acts, like Cake, and others want more emerging artists. So it's definitely hard to come to a decision that pleases everyone."

In addition to the increase in performance fees, funds for general publicity, which consist of nontraditional advertising for the concerts such as T-shirts, were raised from $500 to $1,200. Ticket prices for students were also increased by $2, while prices for the public increased by $4 and faculty, staff, and alumni will be expected to pay an additional $3.

Kate Rebban, director of SA programs, personnel and finances, believes the budget increase has been long overdue.

"I think it was a good idea to increase the budget," she said. "In the past years, we've had a hard time competing in the area for better names for our concerts. This will definitely help us."

AC's concert budget is part of SA's budget for the 2008-2009 academic year, which was approved by the SA Executive Committee on April 23. The budget's total expenditures for the academic year are $1,253,656.75, with approximately $860,000 from mandatory activities fees and nearly $394,000 from income generated from organizations and services.