Spring dis-concertment

I’m not sure if any of my predecessors wrote about the problems with our school’s Spring Concert in this space, but rest assured, those problems are as persistent and annual as dandelions. The Spring Concert represents one of the few ‘traditions’ that Lake Forest has, and also one of the biggest points of contention amongst the student body.

Did you drive by Lake Forest College on the evening of April 12? Did you hear, or maybe feel is the better term, coursing thumps of bass from our Mohr Student Center? That was our Spring Concert – Three 6 Mafia. Never heard of them? Neither had I until I found out they were set to play our school.

According to Wikipedia, the end-all and be-all of knowledge, the group, “released their horrorcore [defined as ‘rap music that focuses around horror-influenced topics like violence and death’] debut album Mystic Stylez in 1995. The album, “featured dark beats with equally gritty lyrics.” Needless to say, I doubt I’d be a fan. Something tells me their influences don’t stem from a town like Lake Forest.

I’m not sure how much appeal this group carries with it in the student body, but I’m sure it’s not widespread. And this brings me to the problem with Spring Concert every year –a band is chosen that does not appeal to the majority of people on campus.

Yes, I’m well aware of the adage you can’t please everyone. But you can try. I fail to see why the planning committee couldn’t have chosen five different groups that could come to campus, big names or not, and put it to a vote. From what I’ve heard, the committee relied on informal conversations with random people and simply intended to bring the biggest name that they could to campus. This decision was based on a number of factors, namely availability and budget.

This brings me to my second point. Sure you can’t please everyone, but you can at least be displeasing on a smaller scale. The College spent about $40,000 on this act. For that amount, every student at Lake Forest could enjoy some type of entertainment of their choosing for $27.60. Train ticket and an evening at Second City? Done. Cubs seats? Sure. All-you-can-eat at Taco Bell for three weeks? Don’t get me started.

But even if every Forester were a rabid, die-hard Three 6 Mafia fan, only about a third of us would be allowed to see the show. The Student Center’s capacity is 600 people. And the tickets are all gone. Anybody who might want to casually see the show cannot (literally) get their money’s worth out of the activity fee that they paid at the beginning of the year.

If it’s a band that nobody really likes, why did tickets run out? Some of the people I’ve talked to said they’re simply going for the “concert experience.” But my attitude is: Why spend my Saturday night, one of the last five in my college career, on something I don’t really care about? Time may be money, but in this case I’ll take my time somewhere else. I wish I could say the same for my money.

To get my money’s worth out of our Spring Concert this year would be for the College to give me $27.60. That just about covers what I’m paying to go see Carthage College’s Spring Concert.

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