Eaglepalooza date set, co-headliners TBA
Published: Thursday, January 24, 2013
Updated: Thursday, January 24, 2013 00:01
In years past, Eaglepalooza has fallen on the weekend of a home football game, but this year the annual event is planned for the same weekend as several popular events in Hattiesburg. However, Southern Miss Student Government Association Event Programmer Tim Wells says the event will be well worth everyone’s time.
Scheduled for April 5, Eaglepalooza will conflict with Live at Five downtown, a conference baseball game against Tulane, Art Walk, HubFest and Greek Life’s spring parties.
“We realize that it falls on an important and busy weekend,” Wells said. “It was the best possible choice we had during the spring semester.”
In addition to moving to the spring, the event will be a little different this year in that SGA is planning to have “co-headliners” instead of one main act. At this time SGA will not announce the lineup, but plans to reveal the headliners next week.
“Instead of having one big act, we decided to go with two ‘co-headliners,’” Wells said. “ We are also trying to get a local band, but because of time changes, we’re still looking into whether or not we have time for another band.”
After scheduled headliner Karmin was a no-show at Eaglepalooza last fall, students expressed outrage over the event, but Wells is confident this year will be different.
“Our directors realize students have not been pleased with it in the past, but I’m fairly certain that they will love the show this year,” Wells said. “We’re very excited.”
Traditionally, Eaglepalooza has taken place in the fall semester of every year, but this time SGA officials moved it to the spring to help with timing and scheduling issues, also allowing themselves time to get more sponsorship money. Eaglepalooza directors only had about five months to prepare for the event when it took place in the fall because SGA elections happen in the spring. This year, however, SGA will have had an entire year to prepare when the event takes place in April. Wells said moving it to the spring helped tremendously in the planning.
“Extending our time has helped put things into perspective with what has worked and what hasn’t worked,” Wells said. “We asked ourselves ‘how can we make this better,’ and I think we have put together a great show.”
Each year, SGA is allocated funds from the university, which derives from the state’s public funds. This year, SGA’s yearly budget was $160,600, and Eaglepalooza was distributed $58,500, which is funding without any corporate or local business sponsorships. Currently, SGA is awaiting a “large” sponsorship, one they say is the biggest they will receive this year, so without that figure, the budget for Eaglepalooza stands at approximately $63,000. Assistant Dean of Student Wynde Fitts said that the final amount will be the most Eaglepalooza has ever raised.
One big sponsor being talked about this fall was C-Spire Wireless, but Wells said SGA was unable to secure those funds.
A C-Spire source said SGA was difficult to contact regarding getting the money earlier in October, but no word was available as to whether or not they were cooperative later on in the process.
However, Wells said SGA tried working with C-Spire.
“For some reason, they did not keep in touch with us at all,” Wells said. “We were really hoping for that sponsorship.”
After SGA elections are held, the president chooses two directors for Eaglepalooza, but this year SGA president Jazmyne Butler chose seven directors to plan the event in hopes to ease the burden and split the resources. The directors are sophomore Lyeneal Griffin, senior Katherine Miller, sophomore Bailey Montgomery, senior Christian Myrick, senior Yuronda Powell, senior Ashley Taber and senior Christopher Thompson-Walls.
Wynde Fitts said students need to give Eaglepalooza a chance despite the busy weekend, and enjoy not only the show but Hattiesburg.