Although it can be inferred that the votes casted by the student body for the E-Days headliner are all that go into the decision process, students might be surprised that the winner chosen by the students is not always the artist on the stage.
“The artist selection process starts with the MAC Executive Council and the E-Days committee,” Colin Marshall, president of MAC, said. “They discuss amongst themselves prospective musicians to headline the Saturday night concert.”
The committee then relies upon an outside agency to give them realistic options.
“We then send a list of our desired artists along with the date and our price range to an agent at concertideas.com,” Marshall said. They then return to us all available offers.”
From that point, the executive committee selects five acts from five varying musical genres such as indie, country, rap, electronica, and rock.
“From there we put the vote to the students with an online poll, and the winning artist gets the offer,” he said.
If the winning artist becomes unavailable to attend the concert than the offer is extended to the artist with the 2nd most votes and so on it goes down the list. Fortunately, according to Marshall, the winning artist is able to make it about 70% of the time and they have never had to go beyond the 2nd place vote in her time with the committee.
“It’s a shame that the winning band can’t always make it, but I think the system they have in place is fair,” Tyler Croteau, a junior in Physics, said. “We’re all given the option to vote for two bands so the second place band is almost always somebody we’re excited about regardless.”
Getting the artist to commit to the show is only half the battle; the committees must be prepared for catering to the artists’ needs.The bands usually arrive early in the day with enough time for themselves to do a soundcheck and to set up their trailers.
“Generally, they’re very nice, but often they make some weird requests,” Marshall said. “Half of the Cold War Kids were vegan and we had to go to multiple stores in order to get everything for them.”
Other bands have requested certain sizes of certain colored towels, and particular food such as specific brands of thinly cut ham.
“Artists are provided with a room inside the Green Center that’s stocked with food, drinks (non-alcoholic), and couches, but they are still allowed to leave and do whatever they want,” she said.
This has led to rumors of artists getting into some mischief in the Golden area. The Cold War Kids were rumored to have left campus to get tattoos, whilst some artists took it to an entirely new level and were accused of doing cocaine on campus.
With regards to the venue choice, the move to the IM fields has provided enough space for the growth in attendees, compared to the old venue, Steinhauser Field House, which only had enough room for 2,000 to 2,500 people.
“I’m glad that the concerts are outside, I’ve been to a concert at the fieldhouse and it was just uncomfortably crowded and hot,” Croteau said. “Plus, all you have to do is turn around at the end of the show to see the fireworks!”