Big bucks bring in big concerts on UCF campus
UCF's CFE Arena has hosted its fair share of concerts ranging in all kinds of genres, many of which students enjoy for free. But what some may not know is that the funding for these concerts comes straight out of students' pockets.
Funded by the Activity and Service Fee, a part of UCF tuition, booking acts doesn't come cheap.
A total of 5.5 percent of all tuition costs are dedicated to the Activity and Service fee, coming out to $11.67 per credit hour. If a full-time student is enrolled in 12 credit hours, this comes to $140.04 a semester for a fee described to be "used to fund activities and services that benefit the general student body," according to the UCF website.
Most recently, rapper B.o.B and DJ duo Icona Pop hit the stage on Oct. 20 for Homecoming 2014. While students were given free tickets to the show prior to the concert, the Homecoming agency spent a total of $214,707 on the show. Part of the cost went to the performers — B.o.B was paid $65,000 for performing, while Icona Pop was paid $45,000. A total of 3,058 students attended the concert.
"This year was really successful. Usually when two different groups perform, some people come late or leave early. This year, it seemed like most people stayed," said event management junior and Homecoming Concert Coordinator Julie Ludwig. "Both artists were a pleasure to work with, too."
Finding a performer to cater to the wants of more than 60,000 students may be difficult, however, students have a say in who they'd like to see perform through surveys given after performances. For Homecoming, the concert coordinators then take that feedback and try to get performers who match the students' wants. For concerts put on by the Campus Activities Board, a vote within the CAB community decides on an artist. From there, an approval process between the artist and the coordinators begins, and if both parties agree on a price, the concert is set.
"Picking an artist is important, it's part of the whole process," marketing senior and CAB Concert Director Michael Pentrack said. "We vote within the CAB community, which is a big enough sample of the student body for music taste."
"Last year, hip-hop was overwhelmingly voted on," Ludwig said, which resulted in B.o.B. headlining this year's Homecoming concert.
The most UCF has paid for a concert was $232,273 for Homecoming 2012. Headliner rapper Snoop Dogg was paid $100,000, opening band Cold War Kids were paid $26,000, opening rapper Sammy Adams was paid $16,000 and opening DJ Wizz Kid was paid $2,000.
The Pegasus Palooza 2014 concert put on by CAB featuring Karmin and Alex & Sierra cost $91,024; $40,000 of that went to Karmin and $10,000 thousand went to Alex & Sierra.
Some students would rather their tuition dollars be spent more wisely.
"While I enjoyed the last homecoming show, I'd rather that funding go toward school and my education," Kaila Varano, a sophomore environmental studies major, said. "Although concerts are great for entertainment purposes, I don't pay thousands of dollars per semester for what I thought were free concerts. I pay thousands of dollars for my education, where the money could be allocated."