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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    ASUA mum on big act

    A security guard leads a seemingly endless line of Kanye West fans inside of the McKale Center last April for the highly anticipated concert that was made possible by ASUA. Students have high hopes for this years follow-up act that may potentially sell out 30,000 seats at Arizona Stadium.
    A security guard leads a seemingly endless line of Kanye West fans inside of the McKale Center last April for the highly anticipated concert that was made possible by ASUA. Students have high hopes for this year’s follow-up act that may potentially sell out 30,000 seats at Arizona Stadium.

    When rapper Kanye West performed his “”Glow in the Dark”” tour concert last April at McKale Center, ASUA officials touted their own coordination efforts, claiming the act was probably the best ever hosted by the university.

    As it turns out, West’s performance may have opened more doors than originally realized.

    After the final numbers rolled in for the sold-out concert, which was seen by more than 8,000 spectators, Tommy Bruce, president of the Associated Students of the University of Arizona, promised much of the same for the future.

    “”It is the most work, effort and organization that we’ve ever had to go through,”” Bruce said. “”And it was a massive success.””

    In fact, the success of the performance was shown by the hundreds of thousands of dollars in ticket sales and merchandise purchases, as the prospects for this year’s major ASUA act come to light.

    Although there is much work yet to be done, the UA has received several bids from big-name acts for this year’s main performance event, said Jessica Anderson, ASUA executive vice president.

    While the student government knows which artists are bidding for a major UA concert this year, they have chosen not to share such information with the public. ASUA fears the possibility of a student backlash, should the student government fail to secure a concert with certain major acts desired by the student body, Anderson said.

    Besides angering the UA community, public notice of bids could stall negotiations with prospective performers, she added.

    “”We don’t talk about names until we get contracts,”” Bruce said.

    Since bringing a major performance to the UA is “”an excruciatingly long process,”” the official performance will not be announced until the spring semester, he said.

    The attention gained by the West concert, however, has eased the pressure on the university to attract major artists, as major acts now know that a successful blockbuster performance at the UA is a reliable possibility, Anderson said.

    In fact, the effects of the West concert can be felt in the form of the student government no longer having to actively seek out performers on its own. Now ASUA is actually receiving calls from big-name acts wanting to explore the possibility of coming to the university, Bruce said.

    “”People had heard that we did the Kanye concert, and it’s made a world of difference in terms of being able to work with different agencies and potential artists,”” he said.

    ASUA is setting lofty goals not only for who they can bring to the university, but also where the act can take place. The current goal is to host the performance at Arizona Stadium and sell 30,000 tickets – 22,000 more than were sold for the West concert, Bruce said.

    While Bruce acknowledged the challenges associated with putting together such a show, he remained optimistic about this year’s major act.

    “”It takes a certain caliber artist in order to do that large of a show,”” Bruce said. “”We’ve worked with limitations before, and we can do it again.””

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