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SFAC creates concert pool to be shared among three organizations for 2017

Frontier Fiesta, the Homecoming Board and the Student Program Board will have to share a pool of $100,000 to pay for event concerts after their various requests to the Student Fees Advisory Committee were denied.

“Since their inception three years ago, the cost per student and budgetary apportionment for concerts has skyrocketed,” the recently released SFAC recommendation report said. “This committee has chosen to reign in this excess, understanding that such massive monetary undertakings are not feasible in the current fiscal condition.”

The report also said the committee considers concerts a luxury, one that must be “enjoyed within our means.”

The apportioned total of $100,000 will be shared among the three organizations, under the guidance of the Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs and Student Life.  The recommendation adds that it hopes the three student-run parties would collaborate for two or three events during fiscal year 2017.

For their collaboration efforts, the organizations must submit a yearlong plan to the assistant vice president. The funds will be distributed once they are approved.

Frontier Fiesta initially asked for the largest amount of funding with a one-time request of  $170,660 for a nationally recognized concert artist. The organization said that the more well known the artist is, the higher the attendance will be.

“This will affect Frontier Fiesta quite a bit next year,” chairman of Frontier Fiesta Brandon Blue  said. “This concert pool, being $100,000 for two or three concerts for all Frontier Fiesta, Homecoming, and SPB is less than what we had for just Frontier Fiesta last year.”

In the last Frontier Fiesta, pop artist Cher Lloyd’s appearance cost $60,000 and filled 2,162 seats at TDECU Stadium. Meanwhile co-headliner Schoolboy Q –an appearance cost $20,000 more –filled 7,721 of the 40,000 seats.

Blue said that in light of the recommendations, Frontier Fiesta is working to find ways to save money, including using a different location for the main stage that is not inside the stadium.

SPB was denied both its one-time requests for 2016 and 2017 and a base augmentation for 2017 as well, due to “extremely limited funds available,” the report stated.

Instead, SFAC granted an unrequested FY16 one-time funding of $50,000 to help fund this year’s Frontier Fiesta.

“The committee recognizes the expertise of SPB in the area of programming and feels that the organization is equipped to handle such a task,” the report stated. “The committee understands your importance to the UH campus culture. We encourage you to increase efficiency, so that you are able to do more with less.”

The organization said that it was concert programming that has had the most significant impacts on the SPB budget.

“These concerts have a major influence on students’ perception of campus life and expectations from the future events programmed by SPB,” the request said.

The Homecoming board was denied a FY16 one-time request of $20,219 for advertising. The committee went on to approve an unrequested FY17 one-time funding of $17,000 for advertising as well. Most of the board’s base augmentation requests for events were denied and instead allocated as one-time requests.

For Homecoming Board chair Isaiah Ross, the concert pool is not a huge problem but more of a challenge that he thinks these organizations can overcome.

“I think the creation of the Concert Pool forces Homecoming to be strategic about their outreach for concert programming,” Ross said. “This challenges the tradition to seek some external partnerships which will only provide more exposure and recognition of UH.”

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