‘Name recognition’ factors into selecting Relays band

Story by Courtney Fishman
File Photo

bands-w2000-h2000The Student Activities Board is keeping a secret. A secret that will cost $15,000. A secret that will not be shared until Blitz Day, April 10.

The bands committee of SAB is hard at work picking a band for Relays. As the most costly subgroup of SAB, spending $35,000 of the total $152,000 set aside yearly, the pressure is on to find a music group that the student body will enjoy as a whole.

“The goal of the Relays concert, as opposed to other concerts we put on, is name recognition,” Adam Lutz, bands committee chair, said. “So we’re spending a lot of money on this show because we really want students to come. And students aren’t going to come if they don’t know who the artist is.”

The process for picking a band starts with Lutz. Along with talking to agents about pricing, he pools a list of bands that he feels students have heard of and would like to hear live.

“Besides myself though, I definitely try to use my committee,” Lutz said. “I pitch them ideas …  to get some feedback on (the bands) and to find a broader viewpoint so it’s not just me.”

Last semester the committee met four times, but spent most of their time communicating on Facebook through sharing and liking videos of bands via YouTube.

Sophomore and second-year committee member Maryna Rath wishes that the club could be more interactive.

“Last year we did more interactions with the bands,” Rath said. “I think twice I got to go and set up and hang out with the bands before, and then we went to eat with them at Drake Diner and talk to them one-on-one, so it’s really cool.”

Drake hosted artists in the past including The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus, Nappy Roots, Hellogoodbye and Eric Hutchinson, but finding an artist was left until last minute.

“Last year we established an agreement with Court Ave. Brewery and it had to go through Drake’s legal attorneys … so we weren’t able to start seeking bands until after March 9,” SAB president and 2011 bands chair Carly Kinzler. “This year since that agreement had already been established we were able to start a lot sooner. So it’s made planning a lot easier and less pressure because of the time crunch.”

However, although the committee has much more time this year, the bands committee undergoes plenty of stress.

“You want to choose the right band for students,” Kinzler said. “You want to try to get something that will appeal to a large number of people on campus. So it’s I guess a lot of pressure in a way and you just want to make sure you’re making the right choice.”

The concert drew in approximately 500-600 people last spring, although Kinzler mentioned it was hard to keep track.

“We provide continuous bussing starting at 7 p.m. until around 12 or 1 a.m.,” Kinzler said. “The first opening band goes on at 7:30 p.m., second opening band at 9:30 and the (headlining) band usually goes on at 10:30 p.m.”

While the band names will not be released until April 10, Lutz hinted at one thing.

“It’s a band that people will have heard of,” he said.

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