Geneseo Campus Activities Board announced on Thursday Feb. 25 that the band New Politics will headline this year’s spring concert on April 24. Doors open at 7 p.m. in Kuhl Gymnasium, where local Geneseo band Ponder the Giraffe will open the concert. According to GCAB concerts coordinator senior Gannon Andrews, approximately 2,700 tickets will be available starting on Saturday Feb. 27. Andrews added that each student is permitted one free ticket with their student ID and the first 100 tickets distributed will be VIP tickets.
“We’re making it free to push the idea that mandatory student activity fees are what pays for this,” Andrews said. “I think a lot of students don’t understand where the budget comes from and so they think that if mandatory student activity fees pay for the concert, why do they have to pay again.”
Andrews expressed his belief that unlike last year’s two smaller concerts, which appealed to smaller segments of the student population, this concert will attract a larger group of Geneseo students.
“With one big concert, it’s nice because we don’t split the budget in half, so we can grab an artist that is a little higher up on the scale; a little better-known,” he said.
Andrews added that GCAB’s budget increased a small amount from last year’s and was allotted approximately $40,000 to spend on the concert. Due to budget increases, the concert has been moved back to Kuhl Gym.
According to Andrews, planning for the concert has involved holding meetings with school staff and officials in the community—including Geneseo’s police and fire department—to ensure student safety. Based on the 2,000 student survey responses in the fall semester, Andrews stated that students were most interested in the alternative-rock genre.
Senior Coordinator of Student Programs and Activities Tiffany Brodner explained that planning the concert involved working with the middle agent Concert Ideas, who advises GCAB on a price the artist is likely to accept. After the artist accepts the bid, they send GCAB a contract which goes through the Student Association and Director of Student Life Chip Matthews.
According to Andrews, the contract process finished last week and Student Activities could not make an announcement until all parties officially approved the contract. Andrews added that choosing an artist can be a challenging process, citing last year’s Mary Lambert spring concert as an example.
“It’s really difficult to pick an artist because you can pick someone who has a large following, such as Mary Lambert. She does have a big following, but not specifically with Geneseo students—which we found out by trial and error,” he said. “You can’t run every single artist by every single student because that’s just impossible. So, you’ve got to pick somebody who you think has a large following specifically at Geneseo.”
Andrews predicted that due to the concert being free and the band’s greater popularity, there will likely be a larger audience than at Lambert’s performance.
“I think New Politics is more popular. Just with the concert being free, I think the turn out will be higher,” he said. “For Mary Lambert the turnout was about 120, which was very small … It was obviously not an artist that students on campus were interested in. So I think that New Politics will have way more of a draw.”
Brodner expressed the same optimism in regards to turnout. “We’re hopeful that since it’s free, it’s going to be a good turnout. You’re paying nothing for the ticket, so come out and just check it out,” she said. “You’re going to have a good time because they’re going to put on a good show. We’re just hoping people will actual go ahead and pick up that ticket and come through to try and enjoy it, especially because we worked so hard to try and get it for free.”
New Politics has three albums out including their 2010 album New Politics, 2013’s A Bad Girl in Harlem and 2015’s Vikings. They are best known for their songs “Harlem,” “Yeah, Yeah, Yeah” and “Tonight You’re Perfect.”