Concert ticket sales in the new arena decreased 55 percent from last spring’s Jason Derulo and Mike Posner concert, selling 2,516 tickets, to Saturday night’s Taking Back Sunday performance, which sold a total of 1,134 tickets.
“We definitely didn’t have the same attendance as shows in the past,” said Special Events Reserve Fund member Bryant Au, who helped plan the concert. “But that comes with the territory and bringing a less popular band.”
For the Taking Back Sunday performance, 600 tickets were sold to students, faculty and staff. The Jason Derulo and Mike Posner concert sold 1,748 tickets to students faculty and staff, 1,148 more tickets than Taking Back Sunday.
“I didn’t know who Taking Back Sunday was so I didn’t go,” said sophomore management and administration major Jennifer Dukes. “Last time I knew Jason Derulo and I was hoping that this concert would be on the same level.”
Assistant Director of Student Activities Dain Gotto said the low amount of tickets sold can be attributed to the style of music.
“I think the show was a success, but ticket sales weren’t as strong,” Gotto said. “I think part of it may have been because the type of music. Taking Back Sunday isn’t as polarized and is not an act students have heard on the radio.”
Both Gotto and Au said another reason for low ticket sales was because the event was held on Homecoming and Parents Weekend, when students have a lot of other opportunities.
“I would say it was a perfect storm of things,” Au said. “It was a packed weekend with a lot of different things going on.”
The low interest in the concert was discouraging, but it pushed ACBU to work harder, Gotto said.
“Initially it was disappointing but in some ways it was a good failure to have,” he said. “In those moments of failure, you learn so much about yourself and your organization.”
Gotto said on the first day of sales for the Jason Derulo, Mike Posner concert, 1,100 tickets were sold. On the first day of Taking Back Sunday ticket sales, less than 200 tickets were sold.
In response, ACBU increased advertising for the event with two billboard advertisements, posters in Northwoods Mall, a radio advertisement and by using social media.
“We definitely amped up advertisements [for the event] and it is something we are hoping to continue,” said Jillian Kelly, a senior SERF member. “It helped with ticket sales and we saw a spike in public ticket sales. It was good to brand our name and the concert.”
Although many students did not attend the event, sophomore electrical engineering major Alex Gombert said he enjoyed the show.
“I thought the concert was pretty good,” he said. “ The whole back section was empty but I think ACBU did a good job. I know it’s hard to coordinate performers and you only have a certain amount of time to snag certain artists.”
Sophomore biology major Kelsey Mayginnes said she enjoyed the two main performers, but the opening act was not her favorite.
“I liked The Maine and Taking Back Sunday but I didn’t like The Bad Rabbits,” she said. “If they would have danced and not sang that would have been good.”
Au said he thought the Taking Back Sunday concert went well and had a great turnout. He said he has already started researching performers and has some ideas for the spring concert.
“There’s no way we can hit everyone on campus, there’s always going to be a tradeoff,” he said. “I think we did the best with what we had. We’re trying to get back up there for the spring and we’re shooting for a band with more recognition.”