Ticket sales for this year’s Homecoming Concert opened via Eventbrite this past Tuesday at 3 p.m. This year, SLAM (Student Life at Montclair), the programming board for the SGA, coordinated with four artists for the concert. As a result, Montclair State will welcome Tori Kelly, along with Natalie La Rose, OMI and DJ WALLAH to the stage at Yogi Berra Stadium on Friday, Sept. 25.
Preparation for the concert began at the beginning of June when SLAM’s Live Entertainment Chairs, Kraemer Clayton and Melonnie Ali, began reaching out to production companies and agencies to find artists who were able to fit the necessary availability and budget laid out by the SGA executive board. However, they shared that the brainstorming began long before the beginning of the semester.
According to Clayton, it was a long process of emailing back and forth until they finally selected and booked the artists for Homecoming 2015.
A few factors make this year’s Homecoming Concert unique from the 2014 Spring Week concert featuring Ne-Yo and DJ ENUFF. First, the number of performers this year exceeds the norm for concerts organized by the SGA. Clayton stated, “This is a pretty special case, since we have three artists and a DJ. Last year we only had an opening event and a DJ.”
Second, the venue boasts a greater capacity than that of last year’s concert. Yogi Berra Stadium is the largest available location on campus, with seating to accommodate around 3,000 fans. In the past, similar on-campus concerts and other exclusive undergraduate events have sold out their tickets within minutes. Lot 60 served as the venue for Ne-Yo and the 1,000 tickets available sold-out in a minute and thirty seconds. Due to this high demand and limited spots, the SGA revisited the capacity issue in an effort to accommodate more students.
“This is a pretty special case, since we have three artists and a DJ.” -Kraemer Clayton, SLAM Live Entertainment Chair
According to Clayton, the capacity of a venue is determined in part by upholding the necessary police officer-to-student ratio. For Lot 60, that ratio is approximately 100 students to one officer, and the cost for each officer at these events is $60 per hour. After meeting with University Police and the SGA executive board, SLAM was able to offer more tickets the week after selling out and this second wave of tickets sold out almost as quickly as the first. This year, SLAM has avoided many issues associated with capacity by utilizing Yogi Berra Stadium.
From now until the event, the Live Entertainment Chairs at SLAM will be attending to all the final details. In response to a question about what she will be doing to prepare for the event, Clayton replied, “Everything! We will be on and off the phone with production, ensuring that we have the right things to accommodate the artists, meeting with police and fire safety and anything else you can think of.”
Aside from the stress and pressure associated with planning the event, Clayton and Ali expressed much excitement and anticipation. They shared that experiencing the night and watching everyone enjoy themselves makes it all worthwhile.