Rising costs, declining interest leads YJAB to cut April Reign concert

On November 11, the Yellow Jacket Activity Board, or YJAB, took to Twitter to officially announce the end of the tradition of an annual April Reign concert.

YJAB is a first-year merger organization, consisting of what used to be Campus Entertainment Productions, Midnight Madness, and Night on the Town.

Zoe Ryan-Hubbard is the president of the Yellow Jacket Activity Board and used Twitter to announce the organization’s decision, as well as their reasoning behind it.

“It fell upon us to still take on the role of doing the concert, but once we kind of did the merger and stuff that’s when we realized that based off of the numbers for the past couple of years, financially and socially, it just didn’t make sense to do the concert anymore,” said Ryan-Hubbard.

YJAB hosts monthly events which causes the organizations budget to be broken down and allows them to only have so much allocated towards the concert or something of that stature. With rising artists prices and production costs, the budget gets broken again.

“This limits the amount of people that we can bring in and typically the people that fall into that price range that we have leftover aren’t typically artists that people are interested in seeing because they don’t have big name recognition or are outdated,” said Ryan-Hubbard.

“It’s a difficult event to put on and to try and please a lot of people because music is such a personal thing. So, you’re never going to please everyone and then it’s even harder when you don’t have the budget,” said Courtney Harris, coordinator of student engagement.

In combination with this, the concert’s popularity has only decreased. Over the years, the number of people that attend continues to drop and has never reached even a quarter of the student population.

This is in part since April Reign itself has so many programs and events going on so close together that the concert often gets disregarded.

“From my general analysis of trying to figure out the whole weekend, I think the weekend is just too overprogrammed and the events that do take place at like Wallace lake, I think there’s like a stigma around it that its only for a certain group of people on campus,” says Ryan- Hubbard. “I think just between that stigma, and sometimes Bach Fest falling upon that weekend, I think the weekend is just too overprogrammed and it doesn’t give people the chance to attend the concert.”

YJAB was hoping for students to provide them with feedback and suggestions for what they can bring in instead of the concert.  “I can see that there is buzz around it and that people are talking, but they’re not talking to us,” said Ryan-Hubbard.

The organization is currently looking for a replacement event, or maybe multiple events, but is not opposed to bringing the concert back, if that’s what students want.

“We still have the budget to do something of a bigger caliber, so we want to make sure that if we’re doing something in exchange for the concert that we’re doing something that’s relative to everybody. That it’s something that people want to see, and it’s an idea that will fit the student body,” said Ryan- Hubbard.

“We’re not looking to get rid of that program altogether, we’re just looking to shift into a different time and maybe bring something that more students will be wanting to participate in,” said Harris.

YJAB hosted an open meeting on Nov 19 to get students opinions and ideas on what to do to replace the concert and is still currently looking for feedback from students. Some suggestions from the meeting included a silent party, bringing in a popular comedian, a huge game show with real prizes, and many more.