Homecoming Concert on a budget

Students watching last year’s performers, Rae Sremmurd, in the Yuengling Center. SPECIAL TO THE ORACLE/USF HOMECOMING

Homecoming is right around the corner, which means students can start looking forward to events such as the Stampede Comedy Show, Homecoming Ball, the USF-BYU football game and of course, the Homecoming Concert.

The concert will be held Oct. 10 at 8 p.m. in the Yuengling Center and for the second year, students will be charged an entrance fee.

The Student Government (SG) Senate voted last Thursday — 40 yes and two no — to allow the Center for Student Involvement (CSI) to charge students $10 for Homecoming Concert tickets. Last year tickets were $12, and it was the first time students were charged to enter the event due to budget cuts.

Center for Student Involvement (CSI) Director Monica Miranda said an artist has been chosen for the concert but details cannot be shared until the contract is signed.

The unannounced artist is expected to be paid $75,000.

Tickets will be on sale the week of Sept. 16 for students and the week of Sept. 23 for alumni, staff and faculty.

While all tickets are general admission, only students are allowed on the floor. Student guest tickets are $15; alumni, faculty and staff are $20; and community tickets are $10.

The 2019 concert budget is prospected to be $124,472, which is $6,003 less than last year. The 2018 headliner, Rae Sremmurd, was paid $100,000.

Miranda said this year CSI wanted to have an opener that was also well known to students so the budget increased from $2,500 to $20,000.

Besides the opener and headliner, there is still $57,100 worth of charges that make up the rest of the Homecoming Concert price tag.

The rest of the costs include the $23,000 Yuengling Center rental, a $23,000 production budget, — headliner requires a $5,000 video package — $9,500 for a middle agent, $600 dinner for the artists and production staff, $750 for the green room items and $250 for advertising.

Miranda shared the importance of having a middle agent because of a situation in which an artist attempted to cancel the Homecoming Concert two hours before the show. In 2016, the rapper 2 Chainz said he wanted to avoid being stuck in Florida because of Hurricane Matthew.

“The middle agents that we work with provide us with the artist and protect us to make sure everything runs smoothly,” Miranda said. “Without that middle agent, the artist that day would have not been on that stage.”

Although CSI’s budget is $124,472, the total cost of the concert is projected to be $152,100. This put CSI in a $27,628 deficit, which is why they had to supplement with charging students. 

After the ticket sales, CSI will be able to bring in a surplus of $26,872 with $4,500 worth of Ticketmaster revenue and over $50,000 worth of student revenue.

The extra money made from ticket sales that is not being utilized will go back into the Concert Auxiliary Fund which is used for Bullstock and Homecoming Concerts in future years, according to Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Yusuf Fattah.

Last year, 3,862 student and guest concert tickets and 221 non-student tickets were sold, which made a total of 4,083 total tickets.

Student Body President Britney Deas shared the costs of student tickets and performers from surrounding universities for comparison.

UF charged its students $15 to $25 for hosting performers such as Snoop Dog, Walk the Moon and Ty Dolla $ign, which cost $100,000-150,000. 

Similarly, FSU’s student tickets were $25 for its performers — Solange and Rae Sremmurd. FSU paid Rae Sremmurd $125,000, whereas USF only paid $100,000.

The only clue Miranda revealed about the artist is that they were one of the highest voted for on the Homecoming survey that was sent out to students.

“While I cannot share just yet who it is, I would be comfortable in saying that it will be good,” Miranda said.