On Saturday, Nov. 16, Bates will welcome rapper and songwriter Bryce Vine to headline its annual Fall Concert, supported by rock band Manwolves. I spoke with Nicholas Eaton ‘20, Fall Concert co-director for the Chase Hall Programming Board (CHPB), to discuss his vision for the event and the process behind it.
Eaton’s motivations for getting involved with the fall concert were motivated in part by his own subpar experiences at the Fall Concert his freshman year. “My freshman year we had this artist called White Panda and Casey Veggies,” Eaton remarked. “I had never heard of them, and it was like, fine, but I didn’t have very much fun. So I was like, I want to get involved and make it more fun, and give people artists they actually know.”
CHPB aims to make the selection of performers as democratic a process as possible. Towards the end of the second semester, CHPB sends out a schoolwide survey for students to express their wishes for performers. “Obviously, we have a budget constraint. So, people are like, “Drake, Beyoncé!” And we’re like, yeah, no. Even like, “smaller-bigger” names you can’t get. So, we’re very limited by our budget.”
Still, Eaton stresses that even within their financial limitations, they continue to encourage student input in the artist selection process. “So once we get those results from people, we try to pick out ones that are feasible, and then we usually do a second round, and see interest levels on there. And then we work with a company called Concert Ideas, and then they work with the managers of the artists.”
This year, Eaton hopes to turn around what was a sour Fall Concert experience last year. While he noted that Lil’ Yachty’s performance in the fall of 2017 was a highlight, he was disappointed by last year’s performance by rapper Waka Flocka Flame. “Waka… there were just a lot of things that disappointed me. [My codirector] Adam and I always go backstage, and he was being weird about it, like he kicked us out. And he was only on for half his time… so there was just a bunch of things like that that annoyed me.”
This year, Eaton hopes that scheduling two acts from separate genres will satisfy a greater number of students. “We wanted to change it up from a rapper, get someone more hip-hop, like R&B. And then we decided to have two acts. Because people are always going to be upset that you didn’t choose the person they wanted. So if we can get the widest range in the types of music and try to make as many students happy as possible–that was kind of our thought process this year, to try and get a variety.” So far, the approach has worked–Eaton has had a number of students approach him expressing their excitement about both Bryce Vine and Manwolves.
Still, Eaton recognizes no concert will satisfy everyone. “Our goal is to sell out so we can have another concert… So, buy your tickets! Because if you’re not happy with this person we can get someone you do like next time, if we have enough money to do it.” A longterm wish of the CHPB has been to hold a concert during short term, which would be contingent upon selling out tickets for the Fall Concert.
Anyone who purchases a ticket within the next three weeks will be automatically entered into a raffle, where they have the chance to win one of three prizes: reimbursement for their ticket, signed merchandise from the artists, or a meet and greet with the artist.