SGA pushes Eaglepalooza to spring
Published: Tuesday, October 2, 2012
Updated: Tuesday, October 2, 2012 00:10
Since last year’s Eaglepalooza letdown with no-show headliner, Karmin, students have demanded answers about what this year’s event has in store.
“SGA is here to serve the students,” Executive Director of Student Programming Tim Wells said.
Wells said a few things are different about this year’s event, starting with the date. This year, Eaglepalooza will be hosted in the spring.
“We want to try something fresh,” Wells said. “We’re just trying to better this event for students. It may not work out, but students’ voices have been heard and we’re taking a chance.”
Wells said moving the event to the spring would give SGA a chance to find more sponsorships to help fund it.
“They’ve been working on sponsorships so we can make this year better than last year,” Wells said.
Another difference in Eaglepalooza this year is the leadership. Wells said that instead of one main director for the event, a seven-person committee has been formed to lead the charge.
“It’s a wide range of students,” Wells said. “The committee is composed of people who are on SMAC (Southern Miss Activities Council), people who have been involved with Eaglepalooza before and people involved in productions through radio companies.”
“These students are working hard to put on a good show,” Wells said. “With the 16,000 students at Southern Miss, you can’t please everybody and their music tastes. Southern Miss prides itself on being very diverse, and you can’t make everybody happy, but these students are here to serve.”
Wells added that so far, SGA has gotten somewhere between $3,000 and $5,000 more in sponsorships than last year. The committee is currently working to find an artist to headline the event, and “quite a few artists who were suggested by the student body” are being looked into.
The committee has also contacted a few different booking agencies, including Pretty Polly, who booked last year’s show.
According to last year’s budget, SGA spent $33,000 on Pretty Polly, Melanie Fiona and Karmin. The $26,000 leftover was for the stage, sound, lighting, local artists, vendors and advertisements from Clear Channel Radio.
Southern Miss graduate Becca Morris, a booking manager for Winter Circle Productions in New Orleans, said there is no reason Eaglepalooza can’t book a good artist for the show.
“With the budget SGA is given, there is no reason for us to be having D-list artists perform,” Morris said. “We need a mixture of genres and notable artists performing at Eaglepalooza. With last year’s budget, we shouldn’t have had a YouTube sensation performing.”
Wells said the Eaglepalooza committee has been in touch with several different businesses to sponsor the event, including C-Spire Wireless, who also sponsors Bulldog Bash at Mississippi State University.
“We need all the sponsorship we can get to make the event even better,” Wells said.
Wells said he was not aware of Eaglepalooza losing any sponsorships from last year.
Many students say the barriers and frustrations that lie between SGA and the student body is the lack of communication.
“I think one of the most important things to do would be to find out what the student body wants, as well as the surrounding community,” said senior Brett Campo of Pearl River County.
Wells said he would be “more than happy” to serve the student body by hosting an open forum for students to suggest their ideas for sponsorships, booking agents and artists.
“We want to reach out to students and try to get their opinions, we have our own opinions, but we base things off what the students want,” Wells said. “We only have so many connections in SGA, we could always use help.”
A date for the forum has not been announced yet.
“We want to please the students,” Wells said about SGA. “That’s what we’re here for. We do make mistakes, but we’re human and ultimately we want to please the students.”
Wells said SGA hopes to announce the headliner of Eaglepalooza before Christmas break.