Student Activities Board is bringing rap artists DRAM and Fetty Wap to perform at Truman State University’s spring concert.
The pair will perform April 14 in Pershing Arena. SAB has been promoting the concert since February but just announced the headliners Tuesday. SAB decided to host a rap music concert based on student feedback and Spotify listening data SAB examined.
Former SAB President senior Blake Buthod said because the concerts SAB hosted in recent years have stuck to a handful of sub-genres, there was desire among members of SAB to break the mold. The last major rap concert on campus was B.o.B in 2012. Buthod said the concert committee considers data from surveys SAB periodically send out, considering year-to-year trends in survey results.
Buthold said since joining SAB in 2014, attendance at campus concerts has varied from 400- 1,000 students. He said Pershing Arena has a capacity of more than 1,000, but the concert this year is not expected to bring in more than that number.
Buthod said SAB knew who would perform at the concert more than a month ago but needed to wait to make the announcement because of a long contracting process. He said SAB needs permission from the artists to make promotional materials, which goes through several agents, prolonging the process.
Junior Hannah Smiles, SAB concerts committee chair, said attendance at campus concerts has gone up since SAB switched from doing multiple, smaller concerts each year to one, large-scale concert a few years ago. She said SAB wanted to bring in someone who had not previously performed at Truman. Smiles said when the committee was considering genres for the concert, rap emerged because it has been increasing in popularity recently among students.
Smiles said the committee chose 10-12 artists to present to the all of SAB after researching each one. She said the concerts committee has been working throughout the year, and it took about two months to research the artists. She said the committee chose the most reliable and cost-efficient popular artists they could find and thought DRAM and Fetty Wap would appeal to various types of music fans, broadening interest in the concert.
Smiles said the committee spent about $100,000 on this year’s concert, which is similar to the amount SAB spent on concerts in previous years.
Buthod said SAB has an annual budget of about $300,000 and performance fees for popular artists start at about $30,000 and go up from there. He said SAB wants to bring popular artists students want to see, but it is not willing to overspend on a concert.
“We are absolutely not going to spend 100 grand [each] on two artists to bring to Truman,” Buthod said. “That would be two-thirds of our budget, and that’s not what we’re interested in doing.”
Tickets are currently on sale for the concert and cost $7 for students.