Bucking A Downward Trend In BC’s Concerts

The Flynn Recreation Complex was, once again, the site of this year’s Plexapalooza, which by all realistic standards can be considered a success. Headlined by Dillon Francis—a significant improvement in profile over last year’s DJ Inferno—the concert was the product of the recent moves made to consolidate programming in the Campus Activities Board (CAB), shifting the responsibility of concert planning away from the Undergraduate Government of Boston College (UGBC).

Recent shortcomings in Boston College’s on-campus concerts have raised legitimate concerns about the viability of bringing national artists to campus, with poor attendance at last year’s O.A.R. concert setting off a string of musical mishaps at BC. Modstock 2014 also became a running joke after the selection of headliner, Hoodie Allen, who drew one of the most underwhelming crowds in the event’s history. With no fall concert booked last semester—in its place a scaled down free performance by Shwayze in the Rat—the UGBC’s concert hardships appeared to have been transferred to the CAB.

But with this most recent Plexapalooza, the CAB reversed what had become a downward trend. The concert sold out in just a few days, and tickets remained sought after until the day of the event. The tickets were offered for $25, an increase from last year’s $15 tickets, but attendance for the Dillon Francis portion of the concert reflected BC’s students’ enthusiasm for the event. It proved that, if offered an event competitive with what other schools and venues in the city draw, BC students are more than willing to pay a larger ticket price.

The event itself turned the Plex—one of the school’s more unremarkable student facilities—into what became a legitimate concert venue, accomplished through the CAB’s diligent and concentrated efforts.

Transportation due to excessive alcohol consumption will always be an issue at on-campus music events, but as of early reports from those in attendance Saturday, transportations were consistent with events in the past. And while a high number of transports can be taken as indication of the University’s caution, there’s more work that can be done in limiting that figure.

The CAB’s successful event featuring a prominent figure in music reflects that current student programmers know what students want. Despite the eventual disappointment when The Weeknd dropped out of fall concert talks during contractual negotiations,  the CAB has shown a willingness to pursue more relevant artists, which hopefully will allow for the continuance of BC’s concert traditions.

A criticism that has been levied at UGBC programming in the past was that it never brought dynamic artists to campus—those that attracted students out of their dorms and away from the their usual weekend plans. After a successful, albeit late launch this year for the CAB, we believe Modstock is in the right hands, and we look forward to the concert announcement in the spring.

Featured Image by Marissa Vanuto / Heights Staff

 

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