Tickets go on sale this week for Keene’s annual fall concert. This year’s performance headliner is the indie hip-hop group The Cataracs, and the opening group is an electronic hip-hop group called Timeflies. The bands were brought here through Student Activities Council and the concert coordinator, the ultimate decision maker. While the Cataracs have been a featured group on several well-charting and popular songs, neither band is particularly popular or well-known on their own.

While even little-known bands such as these can have a cult following, it’s not necessarily as enjoyable to attend concerts where you know little or nothing of the artist’s work. Students will certainly buy up tickets, only because they are cheap and the musical genre piqued their interest. However, students might be willing to pay more money to experience concerts of artists they have not only heard of, but are popular bands. Every year there seems to be some sort of “concert envy” between colleges in the area over who has the better concerts coming to campus over the course of the year. It’s understandable that some schools have the funds and the locations to house popular musical acts; however, if students are paying for performances with student fees and ticket sales, it might be a better investment to provide more well-known and popular artists in such an intimate setting as the Spaulding Gym or the Mabel Brown Room.

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While there are always going to be students who complain about the Student Activities Council’s musical choices for the yearly concerts, there might be a better way to get more student input. There seems to be an annual survey put up through students MyKSC accounts, but that usually gets ignored. These surveys focus on which genre of music students would like to see on campus, and how much they will be willing to pay to see a concert. The fact is, the amount of money students would pay for a ticket is probably directly related to how well-known or popular the musical artist is and genres are not exactly an easy way to determine what kind of concerts would be popular on campus. It’s hard to say how much I would pay for a ticket, or which musical acts I want to see, without being a given a choice of some artists.

Musical acts get tossed around in the Student Activities Council, but the decision seems to ultimately fall to one person. If a variety of acts are available on the proposed weekend to have the concert, students should have the ability to vote on which possible acts they would most like to see on campus. If the students knew that they were voting not for the genres they would like to have come to campus, but the actual artists who could potentially be coming to campus, they might be more inclined to participate.


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