SA Concerts Make Enjoyment a Priority

When Assembly of Dust played at UVM, they requested “five 18 to 22 [year-old] blonde, cute females to help with staging,” Kevin Jones, President of SA Concerts said. Although Jones is fairly sure it was a joke, trying to accommodate artists’ requests while playing UVM is something that comes with the job.”Everyone wants organics,” Mary Mahoney, vice president of SA Concerts said.As the President of SA concerts, Jones is one of the driving forces behind bringing big bands to the UVM campus. “Putting UVM on the map has definitely been a goal,” Jones said. “Burlington’s reallya great place for musicians to play because there’s such a diverse fan base here.I’d love to see … artists reaching out, [saying] ‘I want to play UVM.'”The process of securing a band to play at UVM is one involving multiple contracts and approvals, signatures and deals. And when the outcome is having a big name like theFlaming Lips headline, it’s “a reward at the end,” Jones said.”So much work and preparation goes into each show,” he said. And with clean-up sometimes lasting until 6 a.m. – as it did after The Disco Biscuits show – Jones said he wouldn’t mind having 100 members in the club.”With only 25 dedicated members … getting new members is really important to us,”Mahoney said. Jones agreed. Part of the importance of getting more members is the diverse musical tastes they’d bring to the club. “There’s a whole bunch of students at UVM that like music that won’t be brought to campus unless they tell us what they want,” Jones said. Although money is provided from an SGA-allotted budget and through club collaborations like the one that funds Springfest (a joint effort between Student Life, SA Concerts, SGA and the President’s Office), sometimes bands are financially hard to secure, Jones said. “Kanye West is $150,000 to $250,000,” Jones said. “The White Stripes … The Red HotChili Peppers, Greenday – they’re all bands that we would love to have come, but they’rejust so expensive,” Jones said. “The cost of talent has gone up unbelievably.”Recently, Afroman accepted an offer to play at UVM and will be appearing at Ira AllenChapel on March 23. And with Springfest in the near future, Jones has started putting out offers for headliners. “We were initially shooting for Beck, but funding didn’t work out,” Jones said.”The way it’s looking now is we’d like to put out an offer to Robert Randolph and ZiggyMarley,” he said. “They’re both really fun acts that would get the people moving. “Reggae always seems to bring out the best in people. It’s just enjoyable music.”The SA Concert members encourage students to speak up about what musicians they want to perform at UVM.