Student Programming Board cannot afford ‘top-tier’ artists for Wake the Giant

By Marissa Davis

Although the Student Programming Board (SPB) did not suffer a budget cut this year, it is missing a significant donation from former Quinnipiac President, John Lahey.

The donation, specifically intended to be used for the spring concert known as Wake the Giant, allowed SPB to obtain contemporary R&B artist, Khalid, as a headliner last year.

“SPB did not experience a budget cut this year from SGA, last year they did receive a donation from President Lahey specifically to use for the concert,” said Hannah Pancak, the SPB faculty adviser and assistant director for Student Centers and Student Involvement.

Many students such as Quinnipiac senior, Julia DeLutrie, were disappointed to learn that Blackbear would headline this year’s spring concert, “I don’t plan on attending Wake the Giant this year because I think it’s a waste of money to pay $20 for an artist that I’ve never even heard of and I really just have no desire to attend,” DeLutrie said.

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The Wake the Giant stage has hosted many notable artists such as Jason Derulo, Fetty Wap, Tiesto and Kesha.

“In past years I have liked the Wake the Giant performers...their track record has been pretty good. It’s really disappointing that as a senior this is the concert we get and it’s just kind of disappointing,” said DeLutrie.

Some students seem to believe that SPB has paid hefty fees for artists to perform at Quinnipiac, and this year’s concert will be much more inexpensive.

“I don’t know why people think that SPB’s budget got cut,” said Student Government Associations vice president of Finance, John Khillah. “It seemed that people believe that to reserve Tiesto it’s actually a more expensive concert. That’s not true.”

Killah said that every year, the artists for Wake the Giant are usually around the same price range. He said SPB does their best to find an artist within the $50,000-75,000 range.

SPB has a number of things to consider when it comes to selecting an artist for Wake the Giant, like artist availability and the genre the university voted on via a survey put out by SPB.

“There are other factors that go into what creates our list of artists to choose from: 1. Tour date conflicts 2. Coachella (an annual music festival held in California) is the same weekend 3. Some artists do not perform on college campuses,” said Pancak.

SPB is able to provide a number of different programs for the student body through the budget it is provided, but Killah says it does not have enough to book an extremely well-known artist for Wake the Giant.

“So overall SPB has an operating budget of $380,000, they also then keep and utilize the ticket sales for Wake the Giant and that adds on top of their budget, so they’re roughly around $420,000 for the year,” said Khillah. “Do they have enough to be able to effectively program for the student body? Absolutely. Do I think that they have enough to be able to get the top tier artists for our spring concert? Um, probably not.”

If SPB was allowed a slightly higher budget, Khillah thinks it could be used to improve Wake the Giant.

“They don’t have enough money to get a ‘great’ artist but I do think that with a budget increase they can effectively allocate a little more to be able to get someone who’s in a higher tier,” he said.