UPC offers spring concert bid, plans local music festival

 The University Program Council extended a bid to the band for spring concert, said Vice President of UPC Adam McCollum. “It has not been accepted yet, (but) we feel really confident at the moment that they will accept.”

by Editor-in-Chief Kali Daniel

The University Program Council is writing sins, not tragedies, as the impending spring concert leaves students in hysteria, frenzy and above all: Panic.

“We’ve extended a bid to Panic! at the Disco,” said Vice President of UPC Adam McCollum. “We feel really confident at the moment that they will accept. It has not been accepted yet, so it’s not official, but we’re very positive they’re going to accept it.”

The pop rock band released its fifth album, “Death of a Bachelor,” Jan. 15, 2016, and will play some new hits as well as their classic tunes at the spring concert April 30.

“Panic is way more mainstream now than I think some people give them credit for,” said Live Acts Committee Chair Alex Hughes. “People hear that name and they’re like, ‘Oh, 2005, I was so emo, such a scene kid.’ They’re pretty pop now, if not all pop.”

The Live Acts Committee created a list of artists who were in their budget and encouraged student feedback throughout the process, McCollum said.

UPC offered $85,000 for the pop rock band, with an additional $23,000 for production costs, Hughes said. They have not yet determined who the opening artist will be.

“We could not look for anybody else until we knew exactly how much money we were going to be spending,” Hughes said. “I sent my agent a list of people, and she also sent me (names) that she thought would be a good fit, so we have a list of people we’re looking at.”

During Homecoming elections, UPC asked students whether they would rather have a headliner concert or a local acts festival. For those who voted, their choice got picked — UPC will host both.

Hughes said UPC had originally hoped to host the festival on the practice turf the day of the concert. However UNA has a scheduled baseball game.

They are hoping to schedule the festival for April 29, the day before the spring concert.

UPC has confirmed five artists for the festival, including OLDSPORT and The Bear and The Bride, but Hughes said he hopes to have 10 to 12 local acts, with each performing a 45-minute set.

“I would love to get local vendors out there, food trucks and, just like they sell stuff for First Fridays, make it like a big, community event,” he said.

“I want to make sure the community is involved — the whole community, not just UNA showing up. I want it to be something the community as a whole could get behind, and I want to make sure that all of the different varieties of music in the Shoals are being tapped into.”

For both the concert and the festival, UPC will ask students to show their Mane Card at the door.

“In the past we haven’t done it that way because, in my philosophy, it’s their ticket, and they can do what they want to with it,” said Director of Student Engagement Tyler Thompson.

He said the Office of Student Engagement has made student tickets and public tickets different colors to prevent students selling tickets. However, ticket selling still occurs.

“If we have ‘x’ amount of tickets sold, and only half of those are actually students that came, how are we supposed to know how actually successful (the concert) was with the student body?” Hughes said. “We can say, ‘Oh, we sold 1,700 tickets, that’s really great,’ but if only 800 of those are students, that sucks. It’s our job to most responsibly spend their money. It follows that it’s most responsible to help us know what they actually like.”

The Office of Student Engagement sold 2,400 tickets for last year’s spring concert headliner, T.I., with about 1,700 tickets sold to students, Thompson said.

“It’s their ticket, but at the same time, there are people that complain continuously about how we spend their money,” Hughes said. “If they give us false data, it’s hindering how we spend their money.”

Requiring students to show Mane Cards with their tickets and hosting a local festival fits into the theme of starting something new, Hughes said.

“The concert is going to be incredible,” he said. “I’ve seen Panic perform. The success of their new album and their first No. 1 album ever — it’s going to be something new, something fresh that we haven’t seen, and that’s exciting.”

Hughes said he encourages local acts interested in performing at the music festival to contact him at [email protected]

“We have so much great local talent that’s going to come and pour their hearts out, and I just think it’s going to be a really cool taste of what the Shoals has to offer,” he said. “I ‘d love to see it grow from this small festival-like thing out by Flowers (Hall) to a big music festival that encompasses the spring concert and becomes a big boom for the area as a whole.”

Tickets are not yet available, though McCollum said he encourages students to mark their calendars.

“It’s something that brings the big town atmosphere to our little, small town,” he said. “We don’t get to have much, but this is something we get to have.”