A Concert-Bookers’ Perspective on Matisyahu / Chiddy Bang

Wesleying’s announcement yesterday regarding the 4/12 Matisyahu/Chiddy Bang show inspired heated reactions in the comments section. Given the debate spilling across campus, on and off-line, this should surprise no one. “People will enjoy the concert no doubt,” writes one anonymous commenter. “However, it’d be great if people knew the story behind the controversy.”

Most of you—including those who lined up at 10 in the morning for tickets—realize that the show has been embroiled in campus-wide controversy and objection. But many are confused why, and details are hazy.

Zain Alam ’13 writes to Wesleying:

Over the last few weeks many of you may have heard of the Matisyahu and Chiddy Bang concert planned next week. As students involved in helping set up and book shows here at Wesleyan, we’d like to bring to your attention some facts we find most troubling about this show. This Wespeak was to be published two weeks ago but was revoked after a promise by the show’s booker that the event was definitely going to be canceled. That promise was broken and it is regretful that we were unable to make campus aware of this earlier. Our intentions now are to ensure that something of this scale does not happen again.

More from Alam after the jump.

First and foremost, the event will end up in total costing more than Spring Fling, whose budget this year was $55,000. Other acts with similar costs to Matisyahu’s include George Clinton with Parliament/Funkadelic at $30,000-$35,000, Cut Copy at $35,000-$50,000, and Chromeo at $40,000. For some other points of reference in terms of actual shows at Wesleyan this year, Titus Andronicus was $2,775, Bear Hands $1,000, and Dr. Dog $4,786. These figures should speak for themselves—a lot of shows can be put together with more than $55,000.

Funding from multiple sources is being cobbled together to make sure this show happens. These range from $25,000 drawn from the new “Campus Initiative Fund” resulting from an SBC surplus last year, $7,500 from the Concert Committee, and $12,500 from the SBC itself.  No individual, or even a few, should have total control of a budget this size.

The show is to take place in the hockey rink on a Tuesday night. With many of us having dealt with sound for shows, we have little hope that anything can sound good in a space that enormous and enclosed in concrete. The capacity of the rink is 1,300 and with tickets expected to cost $5 each, we are also doubtful that a show of this nature on a weeknight will even come close to filling up.

There have been some concerns all year with the music scene and concert committee at Wesleyan. Last semester in particular, there was a noticeable lack of activity in terms of booking acts and music in general compared to years before. Some shows, ranging from No Age to Odd Future, have ended up falling through due to a variety of reasons.

Towards the beginning of either semester this year, the Concert Committee took too many weeks to make decisions on offers for acts while waiting for new members to be selected. Just as the SBC is expected to meet at the start of the semester, so should the Concert Committee. Even more troubling however is the rejection of some shows, never more than a few thousand dollars, on the grounds that committee members were not familiar with the band or didn’t see the show being successful.

Though initially put together by a group called WesUnity (whose members choose to remain anonymous), certain members of the SBC and Concert Committee were primarily responsible in navigating budgetary bureaucracy and securing funding. In the real world, if any elected representative heading a budgetary committee diverted huge sums of the people’s money in this manner, there would be a serious outcry. Having brought this event to light, we hope this too is the case at Wesleyan. Though word is that Chiddy Bang and Matisyahu’s contracts have already been finalized, we hope students speak up and hold student budgetary committees at Wesleyan accountable.

This is your money. There should accordingly be checks on it for events with such enormous costs and some manner of oversight amongst those we’ve elected. We believe most of campus would hate to go down a route where Wesleyan has just a few big shows planned every semester like so many other schools. Those passionate about music in particular came here having seen a place where there were not only a lot of shows but also a lot of diversity amongst them.

The music scene has been something the students here have always been pretty passionate and proud of regardless of how it ebbs and flows. Whether the scene of a smaller punk band on a Sunday night or that of the next big thing that weekend on, we should try and encompass it all. We are in no way opposed to big shows like this one but there must be a greater sense of responsibility when dealing with so much of the students’ money. Concentration and homogenization are not what any of us envision as our music scene’s future. For something we so cherish, it really would be quite a shame for so many of its resources to be drained in one swift moment.

Signed,

Zain Alam ‘13

I-hui Chow ‘12

Adrien Defontaine ‘13

Ethan Cohen ‘13

Dylan Bostick ‘13

Ethan Young ‘13

Matthew Bernstein ‘11

Neo Sora ‘13

Hannah Baker ‘14

Michael Ullman ‘12

Jesse Ross-Silverman ‘13

Charlie Hanna ‘12

Scott Infusino  ‘12

Tennessee Mowrey ‘14

Charlie Ellis ‘13

Gil Sunshine ‘12

Rayna Edwards ‘11

Isaac Silk ‘14

Casey Feldman ‘12

Sam Lyons ‘12

Zully Adler ‘11

Andrew Zingg ‘12

Nathaniel Draper ‘12

98 thoughts on “A Concert-Bookers’ Perspective on Matisyahu / Chiddy Bang

  1. Pingback: Matisyahu Regulations Calls to Mind Girl Talk ’08 – Wesleying

  2. Pingback: Concert Committee Forum – Wesleying

  3. Mike

    I’m not a student but you guys have an absolutely rad music scene (much better than where I’m off to next year) that you should be proud of. Bringing in Matisyahu kind of ruins its reputation to some degree.

  4. Brown Bear

    I”m so excited for this concert!!! I don’t know much about Matisyahu at all but I love Chiddy Bang! My first Wesleyan concert and its Chiddy!!! I know I’m going to enjoy it.

  5. Anonymous

    Maybe we should just never have any acts come to Wes so that we can all finally agree on something. Grow some thicker skin. Won’t be able to make the concert but I would’ve LOVED to go

  6. tired of the negativity

    I just wanted to say that even if the process was done somewhat sketchily, the reaction has been excessive, mean, and uncalled for. I think that it is clear that some rules should become more explicit with regards to the concert committee, and it is clear that a lot of people feel that this concert has diverted funds from other good things, but I do not feel like that warrants a complete onslaught on those involved. The concert was planned with the best intentions, to work to give a part of campus that does not attend or care about most of the shows that occur at Wes, so this intense reaction seems to be too much for me.

    Lets just chill out and all be friends.

  7. A Little Pissed

    Why does the SBC think spending $25,000 derived from the student body activity fee (for the purpose of allotting funding to a variety of student organizations and activities) on a concert not approved by a majority of that student body is ok? According to the SBC it was “surplus” money, according to many student groups at least part of it was money they could have used.
    I’m glad people are into this concert, and certainly it’s great to have a thriving music scene at Wes, but frankly, I’m not happy about being forced to fund/subsidize this concert while the money could have been put to infinitely better uses. It makes me a little sick to think of all the humanitarian crises that the money could have helped right now. I am not saying that I think the proper use of those fund would’ve been to donate it to aid relief (another thing the student activity fee is not for), but it could have gone to student organizations that for instance put on events to raise money for relief efforts. For example, if the Concert Committee and and the SBC and say Japan Society teamed up to bring a musician to campus and charged for tickets donating all proceeds to Red Cross in Japan, would that not be a more admirable use for that “surplus?”
    Or even if the money were used to bring ten more concerts or theater groups or speakers to campus and thereby strengthened the cultural scene at Wes and allowed other festivals and events to thrive with great headliners, would that not be a better use of the activity fee?
    Regardless, even if the money were not spent in ways that contributed to humanitarian causes or a diversification of the arts offerings on campus, and instead spent as a lump sum bringing a big name musician to campus, why are the students who are responsible for the surplus in the first place (aka the Wesleyan Student Body) not consulted about where that money is applied to?
    I would go see Matisyahu. I think it’s cool that he’s coming to campus. But had I been given the choice to fund this event or put the surplus to better uses I would’ve chosen the latter without hesitation. I resent not being given that choice, and frankly wish I were paying for something more valuable.

    1. anon

      Why not just donate your $200,000+ tuition to charity and go fuck your high horse in its ass?
      Frankly, I wish we could all just chill out and enjoy the money that has already been spent.

  8. Zach

    To those insisting that the show will be “awesome” and just an opportunity for students “to get drunk and enjoy themselves”: since when has this line of reasoning ever justified subverting committee booking process to the tune of $55,000 while skirting any sort of subsequent accountability? Under what circumstances should an opportunity “to get drunk and enjoy ourselves” carry that sort of price tag, and who should make the call, and how should Wesleyan’s music community respond when that decision is made privately, beyond the bounds of committee protocol, at the expense of a very significant chunk of the Concert Committee’s funding?

    To those pledging blind support for the show while shrugging off “a smattering of smaller shows that cater to a much smaller demographic”: for many, including myself, the exposure that Wesleyan’s music scene provides to underground (or, often enough, highly acclaimed and respected) artists every single weekend is one of the best parts of going to Wes. (Relevant example: Warm Ghost, Big Tree, Lightning Bolt, Pissed Jeans [maybe], and Laura Stevenson all in one month.) When I rattle off lists of fantastic acts I’ve seen, often for free, in intimate venues around campus, friends at other schools cringe with jealousy. Celebrating Matisyahu and Chiddy Bang is fine. But to advertise your ignorance of—or apathy towards—Wesleyan’s music scene while doing so seems self-defeating and inane. And to trivialize the richness of Wes’s music scene because you’ve only heard of two Spring Fling acts in four years is absurd. Get involved if you’re so unsatisfied with [insert act that charges less than $35k here]. But why is “a smattering of smaller shows” something to undermine?

    To those crying conspiracy because “quite a few members of the Social Committee are signatories of this Wespeak”: consider that the statement is openly credited to “students involved in helping set up and book shows here at Wesleyan.” Consider that “students involved in helping set up and book shows here at Wesleyan” are, oddly enough, especially likely to be “involved in helping set up and book shows” for Spring Fling—and to hold significant experience in the logistics and values involved in booking shows. Great sleuthing.

    To those questioning Wesleying’s integrity in publishing the above statement: consider, as A-Batte pointed out, that this blog has always been a forum for constructive debate on campus-wide controversies. Consider, too, that the Argus did not publish the Wespeak, which should have coincided with attention to ticket sales yesterday, and that this discussion has been otherwise consigned to petty personal attacks on the ACB. The discussion is worth having in a more constructive forum, whatever your position; an event of this scale is of interest, and of concern, to Wesleyan students as a whole. Consider, finally, that this blog would obviously be interested in highlighting a counterstatement by the show’s organizers. No such statement has been written or made available to us.

    To those insisting that Chiddy Bang is worth paying $10 for: never mind.

    1. Ayn Rand

      Subverting the democratic process, abuse of power, and misuse of public funds. When did Wesleyan become the federal government?

      Also, check your inbox.

    2. a n u s

      OK
      Does this mean Wesleyan students should not go to this concert? Cause I’m pretty sure it’s finalized. This is a whole lot of shittalking for something that already has had the trigger pulled on it.
      Oh, and Zach, thank you for ensuring the Wesleying readership that your taste in music is righteous. Fofang, A-Batte, Zach, show us the way!!

    3. '09er

      So only 8/23 are Eclectic, fine. What percent of the Social Committee is represented here? Transparency is important, no doubt. There should be more of it. But, let’s be real, this rant sounds a lot like the Social Committee being upset with not having a foothold in this large chunk of change–which frankly is just selfish. And lest we forget how exclusive and opaque the Social Committee is. Nobody votes for them, nobody can get in unless they’re ‘cool enough’, and NOBODY is allowed to plan Spring Fling but them right? They are not the only people who are able/want to throw amazing shows and Spring is not the only time that a large scale show can occur.

      If representatives of the Social Committee want to bemoan this concert for lack of transparency and high cost, they are entitled to do so. They should then be ready to allow other groups to bid on control over Spring Fling–if they are the true champions of democratic music and transparency they claim to be.

      What say you?

  9. Jeff Rovinelli

    this comment thread is not so interesting, but as an alum who was stunned to realize something this ill-though-out had happened upon hearing about it on a return to campus, I’m gonna go ahead and support this wesspeak.

  10. Friends

    I love you Dono! The concert’s going to be great.
    Don’t let this get you down. :]

  11. anon

    personally, I’m really excited for the concert… and it looks like a lot of other people are too. props to those that worked hard to make it happen.

  12. holllllaaaa bluddddd

    I think this post is misrepresenting the feeling on campus, as only those with sticks up their butts wanna express their discontent. But while you guys keep trying to shit all over Dono, I’ll be chillin, appreciating my upcoming spring days, and attending this concert that I’m gonna enjoy the fuk out of. everyone hates on everyone else and hates it when people hate on them. grow up.

  13. oh hell no

    i feel something crucial has been overlooked here, and that is that social committee, the group responsible for Spring Fling, is a self-appointed group. At least Concert committee has to go through an application process and be evaluated. Social Committee is some neopotism/incest if I ever saw it.
    This concert was, as noted by this very wespeak, a combined effort from a lot of groups who have been involved to various degrees over the course of the process. to blame it all on one or two students, as has been happening on the acb, is stupid and cruel.
    Social Committee versus Concert Committee- that’s what this has become. And social committee/ social committees friends have probably been the ones bashing Concert committee (and vice versa) This concert is happening. It has sold out.
    While I truly want to just say ‘stfu’ eclectic, that has already been said. it does nothing anymore. and I really, deeply appreciate the dialogue this has sparked, and hope that reform for BOTH committees comes from it.

      1. but..

        But people on the committee in previous years have full control over who is added to it. It is a system that by its very essence promotes nepotism and stagnation

  14. cheryl

    mm, if i’m not mistaken every time i’ve been to usdan this past couple of days i’ve seen a really long ass line of people who i’m pretty sure were queuing up for these tickets. so if people are saying nobody wants to see these people perform they’re obviously misinformed

  15. anon

    I don’t really see the CC and SBC and whatever other groups working together to throw a huge concert as an abuse of power… Maybe not the best way to book shows at Wesleyan, but not abuse. And really, I’m not sure I get what’s so controversial about it.

    Are you angry that the concert was suggested by a member of the CC? Because that seems like a really petty offense to get so worked-up about. Or that so much money is being spent on one concert? Because to me, this doesn’t seem all that different from Spring Fling. Or are you angry that it’s Mattisyahu and Chiddy Band instead of Cut-Copy, or whatever Wu Tang member happens to be available that day? Because there are plenty of people at Wesleyan that aren’t into your favorite bands, and you’re going to have to deal with that. Or that there are bad acoustics in the gym? I got news for you: everywhere at Wesleyan has bad acoustics.

    If the complaint is that the CC should throw more smaller shows instead of one big one, I guess I would agree. I’ve felt that way about Spring Fling for years. I mean, yeah, if I was in charge of that much money, I would probably use it differently. But that doesn’t mean that it’s an abuse of power, and it definitely doesn’t warrant this ridiculous tirade. And besides, what would canceling the show accomplish? If you don’t like the administrative model for booking shows at Wesleyan, suggest ways that it can be changed in coming years. But this attack on the CC and it’s members is silly…

  16. fuckmythesiiiiiiis

    Shit Wes. Actual problems for actual people are going on all over the place and this is what you choose to fucking argue about? Give me a break. It seems like anyone who takes initiative this year to do something new that they’re really psyched about (and other people are really psyched about) has been totally shot down and shit-talked. And I am someone who is in no way affiliated with any of the initiative-taking or their results (except that I’ll be attending this concert). Believe it or not, all Wes students do not have the same taste in music. In four years, the only spring fling acts I’d heard of before were those related wu tang clan (which barely counts because I don’t listen to their music) and m.i.a. I know I’m not alone in this fact.

    So the point is: some people are excited to have money for big concerts spent on bringing someone to campus of whom they’ve actually heard and about whom they’re actually excited. The money was spent, people are CLEARLY enthusiastic about the concert because it’s sold out and more people are still looking to acquire tickets, and I know everyone wants to say ‘blah blah blah I’m whiny because it’s a tuesday’ but theses will have just finished and a whole bunch of people who haven’t been out to do anything fun in weeks are going to get drunk and enjoy themselves.

    Calm the fuck down, stop looking for things to whine about (because lord knows wes students aren’t happy unless there is), and grow up.

  17. Wesleyan

    THIS SHOW IS GOING TO BE AWESOME

    I am so glad that the show was booked. I wish eclectic would stop complaining.

  18. anon

    This is getting to be completely ridiculous. I can’t help but notice that quite a few members of the Social Committee are signatories of this Wespeak. Let’s cut to the chase – the Argus pointed out that the total cost of Spring Fling is $75,000 or so – if you bothered to look at the allocation made by the SBC, they only had $70K to work with. So it sounds like they couldn’t even contain themselves on the cost of the show. It’s bullshit to say that their budget was only “$55,000” – and even so, they are right – a lot of great things could happen with that money. In fact, something great is happening with LESS than that amount – two big acts, Matisyahu and Chiddy Bang. Hell, that concert sold all 1300 tickets in a day. Is it really that unpopular? I don’t think so. Meanwhile, for Spring Fling, we’ve got mediocre-at-best acts because they dragged their feet and didn’t try until the last minute when the pressure was on to get somewhere. So while we could have had some awesome acts if they got their shit together for $55K, they were too busy not doing their jobs and left us with crap.

    Also, I don’t really know what the hell Zain is talking about. Contracts can’t get signed before Tim Shiner has a chance to review them. Maybe Zain’s done that himself or, more likely, really doesn’t have any decent booking experience. Frankly, this is just shit-slinging because the Social Committee is aware that they put together something crappy this year, overspent on doing so, and still couldn’t come up with something nearly half as good as the Thesis Day concert. Knowing how many students are pissed off at the Social Committee, they probably are worried that they’ll be kicked out of their jobs soon and are looking for ways to cover their asses.

    1. anon

      $55k was Social Committee’s talent budget. The other stuff goes to security and logistics which is not really up to them.

      Social Committee has a lot of experience with determining what different kinds of acts are actually worth (and yes, Zain definitely does have experience). You are free to complain about the lineup or how SC conducts itself, but just because you don’t like Ghostface/Raekwon/Wavves/Walkmen doesn’t mean S0cial Committee doesn’t know what you’re doing. The actual story behind why it took so long is that they kept having artists back out on them, which isn’t really their fault. (disclosure: not on Social Committee, but I know some of them.) Regardless of what you think of Matisyahu’s music, no one who has experience dealing with this kind of thing would think that Matisyahu is popular enough to warrant the cost given the opportunity cost of other artists we could have gotten for that kind of money, especially when it’s in a venue with terrible acoustics.

      Not to mention that a show costing as much as spring fling will not be open to half of the campus. (I also sincerely doubt the hockey rink will fill up anyway because people bought a lot of tickets hoping to scalp them.)

      I actually don’t know if Tim Shiner actually approved this contract. After a couple of people expressed serious concern over the $30k for Matisyahu (for the reasons previously mentioned), Donovan tried to reneg on the deal. Which you can’t do, because even verbal contracts are binding. If you send an offer the artist has a right to that money if they agree to play. This means that Shiner wouldn’t be able to do anything about it, and would therefore have to sign the contract or he would be sued. If the people organizing the show had bothered to seek input, this wouldn’t have happened. This is exactly why no one should be able to control.

      The controversy is very much about the fact that a couple of people exploited their positions of power to basically loot money from the system (which may prevent the people who bothered to go through the system from getting access to money). They did this without being subject to any outside scrutiny.

      Why did they go around concert committee? Why did they not seek outside input on how to make the show a success? Why did they not subject themselves to the same standards of conduct that they imposed on others, which in the past have resulted in some very promising shows not going through? Why is there no transparency or accountability from the people who organized this show, since we don’t even really know who they are?

      1. Poop

        TIM SHINER IS ANGRY THAT THIS IS HAPPENING. HE HAD TO SIGN THE CONTRACT AT THE RISK OF BEING SUED. JESUS CHRIST I WISH PEOPLE WOULD GET THEIR FACTS STRAIGHT BEFORE BLINDLY BASHING THE WRITERS OF THIS WESPEAK AND DEFENDING HOW THE CONCERT CAME ABOUT

        (btw im in agreement with the post above)

        1. Si

          true, that’s the law in connecticut and ill-informed students trying to book shows in the past have been sued as a result of verbal contracts

    1. untitled

      GONNA BE SO AMAZING!! cant wait to be fucked up.
      also, ppl need to take the stick out their asses.
      also, donovan is the man. period.

  19. Mroth

    so this is a random question but… does anyone know if this going to be a standing or sitting venue?? ticket says “Seating: G15 11xx”

    i hate sitting venues… might sell my shit in that case.

  20. can't believe I wrote all this

    I’m hoping Donovan will weigh in on this. People are arguing that Wesleying is covering this issue unfairly, but I’m not sure there’s any evidence that people involved have made an effort to stand up for their decisions. I think Wesleying would probably be very interested in putting up something from Donovan in response to all ofthis.

    I’m surprised more people aren’t discussing this extremely valid point contained in the Wespeak: “With many of us having dealt with sound for shows, we have little hope that anything can sound good in a space that enormous and enclosed in concrete.” Its very true that this show is going to sound very bad. That seems like a big problem to me.

    Then again, its kind of a hopeless debate, because the people in support of the concert will continue to say: “we don’t really care about the complexities of the situation, nor do we care about the sound quality. We like that big name acts are coming who appeal to a large group at Wesleyan that’s rarely represented in decisions about booking shows. Its going to be a party.”
    And the people who don’t support it are going to say: “show’s at smaller venues are better planned, cheaper, sound better, and provide higher quality music and more interesting acts. They’re better for the music scene at Wesleyan.” Those people will be right, but you can’t always cater to those who like their stuff good quality and maybe esoteric. A lot of people on the ACB and on here get very angry at these people and call them names.

    What’s up with someone named “butterfield” in the comments who’s getting very upset about punctuation and grammar mistakes?

    What’s up with the person right at the tope who said “shut up eclectic”?

    I’m definitely not going to the show.

  21. Blah

    copied from acb:

    as someone who signed that wespeak, let me just say that contracts were signed before tim shiner, the guy who oversees all student events, had a chance to look at it. am i saying that students are incapable of decision making? to some extent, yes, at least when this much money is at stake. there’s a reason spring fling (although it certainly didnt please everyone) took so long to book. this concert felt rushed and conducted without appropriate foresight or community input. the fact that we as a group were able to convince donovan the show was a bad idea after the fact (and got him to attempt to cancel it) is indicative of this fact.

    i understand that the excess funds will be re-appropriated to the school if not spent and i think a show like this could be a great way to spend such funds. but the fact that you took $7500 from concert committee (who now may not be able to book any acts for zonker harris day and might not even be able to provide stages for some shows in the upcoming weeks) is unreasonable, especially when no one on the committee (besides donovan) approved this use of funding. similarly, the fact that donovan garnered these funds through his own student group, wesunity (which consists of only two members) and cc (which he’s a part of) seems extremely unfair. there appears to be a conflict of interest inherent in these proceedings.

    as an alternative, i propose a few different ways of spending excess funds.
    1. contribute the money to spring fling, but use all of it towards the headlining act. have a campus-wide vote (or some modified version of such) to determine who the act should be.

    2. have a concert much like this one, but again with the acts decided upon by the student body. avoid using funding from concert committee.

    either way, the campus (at least seemingly) gets the show they want, we spend the excess, and you don’t have a huge fiasco on the acb about it.

  22. butterfield

    1. WESLEYING: stop with the backwards apostrophes! It’s infuriating. They should face AWAY from the numbers.

    2. Zain + cosignatories: proofread your shit!

    3. “we are also doubtful that a show of this nature on a weeknight will even come close to filling up.” — it already sold out.

    4. Many valid points in regard to both the concert committee and the mismanagement of this show’s booking.

    5. This is largely a manufactured controversy. In talking to students over the course of the day, it became increasingly apparent that most of the negative feelings about this, especially visible online, are emanating from very small portion of the student body.

    6. Most student are genuinely excited about the show. Most student, if they knew the details, would find the mismanaged booking slightly troubling. But it’s honestly hard for most people to care a lot about this type of thing, when it results in a great show that will be a lot of fun for half the school, rather than a smattering of smaller shows that cater to a much smaller demographic.

    7. The tiny segment of students who spend time arguing online about music need to realize that wesleyan is a more open minded and expansive place than they seem to think it is.

    8. Wesleying: why would you publish an out-of-date, two day old Wespeak? Leave it for the Argus, where these type of opinion pieces actually belong.

    9. Wesleying: you have not been at all fair in covering this concert/controversy. Stop doing your own thing and try to be a blog for all of Wesleyan.

    1. Sinbad the Stoner

      yo, mad issues with this post, but most objectively wrong:

      9. Wesleying has had multiple pieces from both sides about this shit: that kid’s zach’s was basically gloating about how the pro-matisyahu people were vindicated by the sell-out; now we have zain’s wespeak.

      you know what, fuck it, even more wrong:

      8: the only reason it wasn’t published in the argus (for which it was clearly written) was due to their incompetence. so really, just go eat a dick….

      god, reading this again just pisses me off more:

      5: what makes you think you have an representative view of the student body from the kids you talked to today? just because all your lame friends are down to see this bullshit is not a scientific poll.

      fuck….

    2. Noa

      If you had said, hey, I see a gap in what gets posted on Wesleying, and I’d like to thoughtfully diversify our blogging, I’m positive you would have been asked to join.

      (As far as Wesleying “doing its own thing”… it’s only recently that Wesleying bloggers have even started to get together informally once or twice a year. We’re not as unified as you might think. Secondly… this was not authored by a Wesleying blogger. …? )

      I’m bummed I missed the concert by a year… enjoy.

  23. AnAlum

    Some real-world perspective:

    You guys are getting the opportunity to see two very popular and well-respected musicians at an amazing discount on your campus at the cost of basically free because the SBC literally throws that much money away at the end of every year anyway.

    1. someone

      Popular according to whom? Well-respected according to whom? Chiddy Bang had like one track on the blogs that everyone got sick of. Matisyahu had a few singles that barely charted.

      1. AnAlum

        oh shut the fuck up. Clearly people want to see them as the event sold out in like 3 hours. Whether or not you like the bands adds nothing to the debate

        1. Well...

          This is true for sure.
          People are extremely confused about the controversy, and thus it’s grown completely out of proportion.

        2. someone

          That just means they’re popular here. I only want you to back up your claim that they’re popular in the “real-world” as you said.

        3. cribbles

          That’s a really really silly line of inductive reasoning. When’s the last time you heard of anyone on this campus talking about Matisyahu and Chiddy Bang? People aren’t going cause they’re devoted fans, they’re going cause it’s a largely publicized show by a couple of middle of the road acts. A friend buys tickets, people from their halls buy tickets; people expect each other to show up and they decide, oh what the hell it might be fun, and they buy tickets for themselves, too. Do not pretend not to know what I’m talking about.

    2. Ddd

      yes just sitback and fucking enjoy and get drunk. What is the big deal here? As a senior finishing up thesis, this is a great way to end the year. I mean yes Girl Talk sucked a few years ago, but I still got a kick out of it.

  24. not convinced

    I’m all for checks on those handling our money. However, I’m not convinced by this vague post that the Concert Committee did anything wrong. What does “navigating budgetary bureaucracy and securing funding” mean? What exactly did they do that they weren’t supposed to do? Did they give money they weren’t in charge of? It seems like $7500 isn’t that much in the grade scheme of things. In what “manner” did they “divert huge sums of money”? How does the Concert Committee have control over all this money; aren’t there other groups involved (the SBC, for instance)? If so, why aren’t we talking about them? It seems like everyone’s just complaining that a huge amount of money was spent on a show they didn’t like. That’s a fine thing to complain about (if you admit that’s what you’re complaining about), but is it one person or a group of people’s fault, or is a fault of the system? Were these people acting within the scope of their jobs? A huge sum of money is spent every year on Spring Fling, a concert which, understandably (you can’t please everyone), a large number of students are displeased with. There are no checks on Social Committee; none of their members are even elected. I don’t really see how this is any different. If anything, the Concert Committee is a better system because at least we had to elect the chair. I just don’t understand how everyone can suddenly say they want checks on their money and blame one person (or a small group of people) when things have really been operating this way for a long time.

    1. anon

      The show was not approved by concert committee. The chair of concert committee simply went around the system and used their funds. If he had bothered to get the approval of people who weren’t planning the show, it wouldn’t have happened.

      1. Fghj

        He must have had the approval of the SBC and whoever is in charge of the “Campus Initiative Fund.” The bulk of the money from this concert didn’t even come from the concert committee, so someone else must have been involved. AND if no one else was involved, then why is it possible that one person has the ability to spend $50000+ dollars without any approval from ANYONE else? That seems really unlikely.

        1. Well...

          RIGHT. Ok check it out.
          The funds from SBC/campus initiative fund were fairly given to the chair of the committee. Some people will question whether this was ok, but truthfully it was. It was just weird and maybe unnecessary considering we have Spring Fling already.

          the concert committee funds, small in the grand scheme but large in concert committee’s budget, were NOT approved by the appropriate committee. So there’s your problem. This is the only thing I really think is objectively wrong. the rest is simply very questionable. however, people who book shows have a right to be upset, as this bit into the budget they book much cheaper shows out of regularly.

  25. exBC

    People, particularly concert organizers, tend to find a way to blame the SBC and other funding groups in an increasingly entitled and aggressive way every year. As a former member of the SBC, I can promise you that the group is as accountable as any on campus – last year’s chair, Charlie Kurose ’10, made weekly allocations available on the WSA website almost immediately after they were given every week. This is not a ‘diversion of the people’s money’ but a legitimate use (given how quickly it sold out, I can only assume also that some of this money will be recouped) of excess funds. If spending oversight is what you want, or an elected group that will not turn down your concert proposals because they are unfamiliar with them, then make all potential acts open to student feedback before they are signed. You might be disappointed to find that acts like Matisyahu would make the cut, and many other promising, less-known groups would not. This is, however, speculation – I would not mind seeing concerts vetted by the student body, if only to see how the campus music scene would look as a result. What I take offense to is not the sentiment that there was a lot of money spent without student approval, although one might say this is just a mirror of Spring Fling…what bothers me is that you blame the various budget committees, which have never failed to honor the student body’s desire to see funding spread among diverse groups so that if any student has an idea, they can count on the SBC to help them bring it to fruition. You risk fundamentally altering the best outlet the student body has for creative aide, based solely on the fact that an expensive show was approved after some other performances you more approved of were denied funds. There is always room for dissent on campus, but this to me reeks of selfish complaint.

    1. Jrosssilverm

      No students other than the ones planning had any say in its happening. They got funding from concert committee without getting approval for those funds. The only reason this show is happening is because a tiny number of people who had their own fantasy about what kind of show would appeal to the campus community happened to be in positions of power and exploited those positions to basically loot the SBC. If the show had been had been subjected to a single shred of scrutiny, it wouldn’t have happened, because everyone else who has been involved with planning shows at Wesleyan can see what’s wrong with it.

      Even Donovan realized that what Matisyahu was demanding was too much and tried to get out of the deal, but couldn’t. He also promised Zain that the show wouldn’t happen so that he wouldn’t submit this wespeak, and then it happened anyway.

      Remember that even if tickets sell out that doesn’t mean people will actually go, or that it will actually be a good concert.

    1. cribbles

      Oh give me a break. Eclectic provide a venue for many of the shows that make our music scene great, and a not insignificant number of their members are proactive in booking those shows. And this issue extends way beyond Eclectic, so try to look past your bias against their fashion sense.

  26. Dawn

    This is the most melodramatic thing I’ve ever seen. But I hope the concert gets canceled.

  27. Frankly Dema...

    This seems like an inappropriate forum for this post considering Wesleying does not usually take calls for open opinion pieces.

    I don’t really see how this concert is any different from spring fling which is organized by a committee with a similar lack of accountability.

    Plus a sold out show seems a rather strong stamp of approval on the concert committee’s decisions.

    1. Well...

      the spring fling committee is at least a committee. you have to apply for it.
      this concert is frustrating because it got the same amount of money without having a system or a precedent in place for using it on an additional and equally expensive spring concert.

      1. But Actually...

        Everyone got an email inviting them to apply to concert committee.
        If anything cc is more democratic as it is directly accountable to the WSA.
        SFC is highly self selecting and most accountable to members from previous year.

        1. Well...

          First of all, everyone got an email inviting them to apply for Social Committee (spring fling committee) as well. Beginning of the year.
          Second, Concert Committee’s job isn’t to plan shows. Their job is to approve shows that others plan. Maybe you’ll start to see why it’s problematic that head of concert committee would use that power to approve their own expensive show. THAT is the issue here.

          1. But Actually...

            But it sounds like the concert was planned with the direct consent of the SBC and WSA , therefore very clearly making it an authorized use of power.
            Your problem can’t be with the individuals who planned the concert as they were acting very much within the guidelines of their jobs.
            Your problem could be with the ultimate bureaucratic infrastructure of the CC, SBC, and WSA as guided by WSA bylaws. However, I think its a pretty ideal and functional system of fair representation of a rather politically apathetic student body. Love to hear your alternative though…

          2. Well...

            The system isn’t perfect, you’re right. But that doesn’t mean it should be bypassed.

          3. anon

            the people that organized the show are the people that approved the funds.

            concert committee funds were used without concert committee approval.

          4. Well...

            The other members of CC were not asked for approval for the funds taken from their budget. That’s the issue. Right there.

            I should note that I’m not against this concert happening, nor people attending, nor its success, nor the artists.

          5. poo

            he used his power to go over every other committee member regardless of zir’s opinion. THAT is the issue.

        1. anon

          nothing makes wesleying anything. wesleying will do what it wants; what makes you think that wesleying has to please you?

    2. anon

      it wasn’t concert committee’s decision, it was one person on concert committee’s decision

    3. someone

      I don’t see the harm in Wesleying publishing opinions of people with relatively privileged knowledge of the processes involved, at least when it comes to really hot issues like this. No one reads wespeaks and the ACB sucks. Many people want to know what’s going on behind the scenes, many people care, Wesleying posts things people care about.

    4. Anonymous

      Just because we don’t “usually take calls for open opinion pieces” doesn’t mean we can’t or won’t post them:

      http://wesleying.org/2010/01/28/why-i-chose-to-vote-no-2/
      http://wesleying.org/2010/01/29/cocktail-party-vs-aid-or-reason-vs-sense/
      http://wesleying.org/2008/05/17/a-wesleyan-students-perspective/

      I’m not really motivated to dig up more links (for starters, dig up some braille posts), but people seem to have this strange idea that Wesleying is, has always been, and should always been an event-posting algorithm with the occasional NESCAC news item or NYT article. I’m not really sure where that comes from or why it should be true. I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that Wesleying’s creators probably agree with me.

      1. But...

        Those are all examples of posts by authorized and respected bloggers of wesleying…not the opinions by the friends of an irregular blogger of weslying.
        The problem with an opinion piece like this, even if by “concert bookers” is that it is not fact checked, and has not true authority or proven direct knowledge over the situation.
        It’s simply a question of weslying’s integrity.
        If posts like this are acceptable then there needs to be an open call for such posts so that all with an opinion have fair access to posting such as is the case with wesspeaks.

        1. Anonymous

          First of all, I would disagree with the assertion that Señor Fofang is not a regular blogger on Wesleying, or that his opinion as someone deeply involved in the Wesleyan music scene is any less informed than any other Wesleying blogger’s.

          Everything else of all:
          – Fofangbang didn’t draft most of the content – the undersigners did.
          – No one said it was “fact checked” (how would that be done satisfactorily?) or had “true authority” (how do you get that, other than being on one of the relevant bodies?) over anything. To restate in a slightly different way: if you think Wesleying doesn’t have integrity because we let someone post an opinion on something contreversial, we were dead to you years ago.
          – If people other than Wesleying bloggers want to post their opinions on Wesleying, the impetus is on those people, not us. Regardless, if we didn’t want to facilitate discussion or encourage responses, we wouldn’t allow comments.

      2. cribbles

        It should be true because we all know about stumbleupon and thus don’t need “procrastination of the day” spamming up our only student life and events blog. The New York Times could make the same argument — “who says our publication has to just be about news and editorials? Why not put some of Krugman’s family vacation photos on the front page?” Fair enough, but the whole reason I read the NYT is to get the news.

        Having said that, I’m not opposed to Wesleying printing editorial pieces such as this. On the rare occasion that you guys do venture into journalism, I find that it tends to be much more thoughtful, and useful, than your typical Argus article. Inarguably it causes a better dialogue — who ever actually reads the Blargus? (The fact that this entry started off as a Wespeak notwithstanding.)

        1. Anonymous

          “who says our publication has to just be about news and editorials?”
          They/their economic and historical incentives do, which our much stronger than ours. Comics notwithstanding, I guess. Not everyone reads Wesleying for events the same way people read the NYT for news. See for yourself:
          http://wesleying.org/pollsarchive/?poll_page=5

          Having said that, a) there’s always the possibility that certain features or content aren’t as good as others, and b) we’re pretty much in agreement, so whatevs.

        2. Noa Wotton

          I’m glad that you find our random journalism decent.
          If you ever get tired of it, I’m gonna throw this out again:

          There’s a filter at the top of the blog where you can elect to view “Events Only.” This will filter out posts on campus issues, commentaries, etc., as well as random links and non-campus news.

      3. Lesanjuan

        Having to defend every Wesleying post that isn’t an event or news is getting really fucking old. It’s time we write a post like this and just link to it every time someone complains.

      4. cringe

        Yes also, your not-so-surprising insensibility towards Latina women also brought up controversies + much discussion. SO THANKS FOR THAT BATTE A .

    5. Noa Wotton

      There’s a filter at the top of the blog where you can elect to view “Events Only.” This will filter out posts on campus issues, commentaries, etc. which Wesleying has always been a forum for, as well as random links and non-campus news.

  28. anon

    Don’t tease us with the Funkadelic and Cut Copy references!!!! Too good to ever be true!!!

      1. anon

        Radical Performance Machine, Donovan, Will and Mickey’s booking group. they have done every expensive show this year. Time to change

  29. anon

    i bet things will be different with the concert committee next year when the person who made this happen is gone.

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