The Activities Council of Bradley University (ACBU) announced Wednesday the spring concert performer cancelled, leaving the council just weeks to find a replacement.
We don’t know about you, but doesn’t this sound a little too familiar?
ACBU set the trend in recent years of setting Bradley students’ hopes up high, but it all seems to come crashing back down.
In 2012, Redfoo of rap duo LMFAO was scheduled to perform for the spring concert. That was quickly shut down weeks after the announcement, when Redfoo suffered a back injury.
Then in 2011, ACBU hit a roadblock in booking Taking Back Sunday and The Maine, with 1,810 tickets sold, although students still attended and enjoyed the show. For the spring 2012 concert with Redfoo’s cancellation, ACBU nabbed remix artist Girl Talk last minute.
The attendance was staggering low, with only 885 tickets sold, even though students said the performance was high energy and worthwhile.
Last school year, ACBU did not book a performer for the Renaissance Coliseum in the fall, but collaborated with Brave Sounds Entertainment (BSE) and The Edge radio station in “Borderline: A Music Festival” on the Alumni Quad. The music festival featured several “underground” bands, but alternative group Parachute did perform.
And when The Band Perry came last spring, most of the audience was made up of people from outside the university.
We get it, ACBU cannot control every time a high profile artist has to cancel a set of shows. But the numbers from other shows spoke for themselves.
ACBU was already betting against the odds with spring 2014 performer Ke$ha. She has been in the Timberline Knolls Residential Treatment Center since January for alcohol and eating disorder treatments.
With her release from rehab barely preceding her Midwest concert tour, Ke$ha was a risky choice. She booked multiple small universities in places like Chicago, Indiana and Wisconsin, all of which were canceled as of Feb. 5.
“All of your support during this time has been so amazing. I couldn’t have done this without you all,” Ke$ha said in her public statement. “I look forward to coming back stronger than ever on the next tour.”
Why would ACBU not consider that Ke$ha might be in the right state to perform? She wasn’t and isn’t healthy, and while we appreciate ACBU looking to book a high profile artist that many students recognize, it’s not fair to pick one who had an increased chance of canceling due to her personal issues.
We’re not trying to put the blame entirely on ACBU, because Ke$ha’s touring manager thought she would be healthy enough to tour this spring.
But what we’re seeing is a larger trend of ACBU not being able to fulfill its promises. Whether its promises include bringing at least one artist who appeals to the student body each school year or its promises to entertain us students in general, we believe that students are beginning to look elsewhere, like BSE, for their live music needs.
We think that, even with the attempt to reach out to students with the survey, that people are losing faith in ACBU’s ability to deliver a good concert.
And the only thing that we can suggest is that the council either brings student opinions in at all parts of the decision-making process, it gets more funding or it starts focusing more on the music and less on the name and the price tag.