Blasting Out Loud
NDSU student government allocates $75,000 to Spring Blast concert
Published: Wednesday, December 11, 2013
Updated: Thursday, December 12, 2013 02:12
NDSU student government, by a 29-1 vote, has decided approve a bill for a reserve request to provide $75,000 of reserve student funds to Spring Blast for the upcoming year.
The Spring Blast planning committee is looking to make expansions to the event from last year. This would include a larger-scale concert, which would have the potential to bring in thousands of students to the Fargodome, its target location.
“That’s something I’ve wanted to do for a long time,” said Noah Engels, senator of agriculture, food systems and natural resources and who is a primary writer of the Spring Blast bill. “We have this extra money in the reserve right now.”
Of that $75,000, anywhere from $35,000-$40,000 would be spent on bringing the talent to Fargo. However, not all of the $75,000 may be spent on the concert or even at all. When the committee submitted the bill, they decided on over a $10,000 cushion.
“We just tried to brainstorm to how we can make Spring Blast more successful,” off campus senator Lucas Paper said. “Ultimately what it came down to was investing more in for the interest of the students.”
While $75,000 may appear to be a staggering number, Engels said he is looking to ensure that the money that comes from this year’s student activity fees is spent on this year’s students.
“Since it comes from a student fee and students are paying into it each year, especially the seniors this year, it’s very important for me to spend some of that money, especially now,” Engels said. “We have to be fiscally responsible, but at the same time some of these students who pay into it from their student fees then would graduate if we let it roll over into the next year. It wouldn’t be spent exactly on them.”
The planning committee is shooting for 4,000 students to attend the concert. If that number is exceeded, NDSU student government may even turn a profit from the event.
Students and other people would be charged a certain amount—around $10—which could bring in a certain amount of revenue used to make up for the money spent. Those funds would be used for various other projects by NDSU student government.
The Spring Blast planning committee is looking at a few up-and-coming artists, however none of the sought-after bands or artists name can be released until they are booked due to legal complications.
“Obviously we won’t get someone $500,000 worth to get someone here in Fargo, but if we work with their tour dates, hopefully we can get someone pretty cool and popular,” said Josh Zetocha, College of University Studies senator who was a part of the committee that submitted the bill. “I know UND is trying to get something similar to this, but I think we’re a little ahead of them in that aspect.”
Traditionally, Spring Blast is a week-long event which entails a number of different attractions such as movies, concerts, guest speakers and fundraising events.
Campus Attractions has already committed $22,000, which is a substantial amount of its budget, toward Spring Blast. However, the Spring Blast committee is looking to do much more with its feature concert.
Paper, who was also one of the senators to submit the bill, saw a similar and successful concert at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln his freshman year. He said the event was highly successful, and NDSU has an opportunity to start a yearly tradition of these kinds of concerts.
“There is a very, very good chance that with the amount of money that we are able to utilize, we will bring in a band that is fully capable of bringing students to the event,” Paper said. “I don’t think it’s going to be a problem at all. I think we might even be surprised by the outside interest that will bring in more money to the students.”
There were a handful of other locations considered for the event such as the Fargo Civic Center, the Bison Sports Arena, Churchill Field and Scheels Arena. However, none of those venues could seat the target number of fans and protect them from disadvantageous weather like the Fargodome could.
“I definitely think that the Fargodome would be the best location for it,” Zetocha said. “If we want it to be a NDSU event, we want to make sure it’s close to campus. If students will want to go to a football game there, they’ll go to a concert there as well.”
Though the event isn’t schedules until April 24, 2014, NDSU student government has been pressed to get the monetary commitment from NDSU by Fargodome officials.
There will be a considerable amount of work required—the main reason for the Fargodome wanting an early commitment—to pull off the attraction that the Spring Blast planning committee is shooting for.
While the future is hard to read, Engels hopes that this concert will not only be a successful event this year, but something that could start a yearly tradition.
“It is a lot of money, but hopefully this will be something that is sustainable every spring,” Engels said. “We really want to make sure that we can get enough people there to make it sustainable and put some money into the (reserve) account for next year.”