After two semesters of not hosting a major concert, Activities Commission announced that Ke$ha and special guest 3OH!3 will be performing at Geneseo on April 3.
The low ticket sales for Gym Class Heroes and Asher Roth in fall 2009 resulted in a loss of $14,000 for Student Association and led to the cancellation of the spring 2010 concert. Results from a survey distributed last semester indicated that students would prefer to have one big-name concert to two smaller-name concerts, and so rather than have both a fall and spring concert this academic year, Student Association voted to skip a fall concert and instead invest in an appealing spring concert.
Originally, SA had budgeted $80,000 for the spring concert, but senior Bill Greco, concerts coordinator for AC, proposed an increase to fund a more popular artist. On Oct. 20, SA allocated an additional $70,000 for the concert for a total of $150,000, opening the door to a much wider selection of artists.
Surveys were sent to students via e-mail and collected in person at tables in the College Union. According to SA Director of Student Programming and junior Nicholas Spengler, Drake was the artist that received the most votes for a spring concert, but he was "monetarily not plausible." Lil Wayne was another possibility who was rejected for financial reasons as well as a history of not showing up to shows he's booked, Spengler said.
Ultimately, Ke$ha was secured as the headlining performer. Ke$ha rejected SA's first offer of $50,000, but later accepted a contract offer of $100,000. Other artists to whom SA made offers include MGMT and Bruno Mars.
"This money can only be spent on programs like this," Spengler said. He added that SA's money for activities like the spring concert comes from mandatory student activity fees which cannot be used for other purposes, addressing the grievances of students who are angry that money is being spent on a concert as the school struggles through a budget crisis.
After securing Ke$ha, 3OH!3 seemed like a fitting choice for an opening act since the duo has released two singles with her, Spengler said.
Ke$ha's career began in 2005 when she began singing background vocals for other artists, but it wasn't until 2009 after her voice was featured in Flo Rida's "Right Round" that she broke through. Since then, Ke$ha has released Animal and Cannibal, and singles "Tik Tok," "Blah Blah Blah," "Your Love Is My Drug," "Take It Off" and "We R Who We R" have topped the charts.
The Get $leazy Tour kicks off Feb. 15 and Ke$ha promises a good time, telling Billboard.com, "It's just going to be an assault of all your senses."
Although 3OH!3 hasn't enjoyed the Billboard success that Ke$ha has, the two-man group has had its share of hits. "Don't Trust Me" from the album Want reached number seven on the Billboard Top 100 and Streets of Gold, released in 2010, features Ke$ha in the single, "My First Kiss."
Although some students have expressed doubt about the artistic integrity of the selections, many are still enthusiastic about the choice.
"Ke$ha isn't one of my favorite artists," said junior Lauren Healy, "but I think the concert will be entertaining … I think she's more widely popular and she'll appeal to more students than previous concerts."
"3OH!3 is more of a draw than Ke$ha," said sophomore Gedney Mosher, "but I might still go; it should be fun."