Money behind the music – cost of concert being kept quiet

The corner offices of the third floor (GAP and ASG) have been quiet, under contractual pressure, about the cost of the student funded Third Eye Blind concert.

It has been a week since the M.E.C. announced that Third Eye Blind is coming to campus, and students are still talking about the concert scheduled for April 24. However, there are financial issues at hand for the school.

Because of contractual agreements with the band and agent, the exact cost of the concert cannot be released, according to ASG President and M.E.C. member Brett Fuchs, ’10.

In a Nov. 17, 2009, Allegheny Student Government meeting, the ASG Finance Committee allocated $20,000 for the concert, which was then approved by the Senate. Half of the money came from the ASG general fund and the rest came from the special events fund. The minutes also reflect that GAP has extra money due to the act from last year being cancelled.

ASG Treasurer Greg Merz, ’10, says that more money could be added from ASG when the total cost of the concert is compiled.

“Twenty thousand was a starting number,” Merz said. “We put forward $20,000 and then we’d see how much the M.E.C. needed from us in the end.”

GAP Vice President of Late-Night Programming Giulia Molinaro, ’10, confirmed that her organization did contribute more this year.

“We’re not allowed to give specifics about our budget,” Molinaro said. “Our budget is directly from the college and not a student activities fee like ASG’s. But we did give more money because of the fallout from last year’s N.E.R.D. concert.”

N.E.R.D. was scheduled to visit campus on April 3, 2009, but cancelled due to an invitation to perform at an NCAA Final Four event. Since this money was for a major concert, but the event was cancelled, they did have extra money available from the major concert specific account.

GAP’s budget is allocated by the Office of Student Involvement. This money comes directly from the college. The money is then put in different accounts.

For example, if GAP is allocated $400 for Springfest and they only spend $200, they cannot use the extra monies for a major concert.

ASG produces weekly minutes, available online, which detail where their money is allocated. GAP does not release financial information. ASG revealed that the Concerts and Special Events fund started the year with $25,000. This amount is now down to around $18,000. Following the concert it will be approximately $8,000.

According to, an event booking agency, Third Eye Blind charges colleges between $55,000 and $65,000 for a performance. In 2008, Amherst University booked Third Eye Blind for $60,000, according to The Amherst Student, their school newspaper. It is believed that Allegheny is paying a similar amount.

The concert is being paid for completely from student fees and tuition.

“The student activities fee makes up ASG’s budget and GAP’s budget is made up from tuition,” Fuchs said.

The event costs $5 for entrance if tickets are purchased during the student ticket sales period.

“The ticket price is used mostly to cover additional costs of concerts,” Fuchs said. “These include security, actual tickets and the ticketing system. As part of the contract for any band there are also additional costs such as food for them.”

In comparison to other events, Fuchs believes that the $5 price is the lowest that the college has offered for a concert in some time.

Other colleges have booked Third Eye Blind in the past year, and do charge more than the $5 tickets being sold at Allegheny.

Vanderbilt hosted the band in October 2009, and their price was $25 per ticket. The University of Connecticut charged $20. Washington and Jefferson also charged $20. The venues in which these concerts took place were larger, which led to a greater production cost.

Allegheny will outsource security for the event, just as it did during last year’s Cartel concert. This will be covered by the $5 student fee.

According to the costs presented by, the range of prices for the potential acts was approximately $25,000 to $65,000. The site reports that Sean Kingston would have cost around $25,000, GirlTalk would have been between $25,000 and $30,000, and O.A.R. would have cost in excess of $60,000. Pitbull is priced at around $35,000 to $40,000. Lupe Fiasco would have cost between $55,000 and $60,000.

Third Eye Blind is near the higher end of the range given by The Campus has learned that Third Eye Blind was not the most expensive act on the questionnaire distributed to students on Nov. 16.