Homecoming season is approaching, which also means the long-awaited bonfire concert is closer than it appears. This year, the artist is electric pop duo 3Oh!3, giving the students a surprise. Even last year with Jesse McCartney, students were excited to attend the concert and bonfire. However, previous artists got mixed feedback. Most of the time, the artist was in the Country genre. This gave the impression that the school was only trying to make the Nacogdoches community and Alumni happy. However, these past two years, the artists not only are known by students, but are also ones that are enjoyable. So, does the Student Activities Association select an artist to perform?
Student Engagement Coordinator of SAA Erica Nordlund explained that the process of finding an artist starts around June each year. A middle agent creates a list of artists who are either touring or are willing to perform at the school. The list is then given to the leaders of certain student organizations to decide. They pick the top three artists they best think will make the student body happy. One thing Nordlund wanted to clarify is that the budget for getting an artist is not a big amount.
“It comes out of SAA’s budget already,” Nordlund said. “The money is set aside each year and ... it’s not as much as we would like it to be. And so, we’re working on figuring alternatives and how we can increase it.”
Nordlund also expressed that the bigger the artist, the more expensive they will be. So, why has the idea of selling tickets for homecoming not been implemented?
According to Nordlund, SAA has taken this into consideration, but they are concerned with the difficulty of a ticket check for an outdoor concert.
“It’s really hard to charge tickets in an open area, [because] it’s not enclosed,” Nordlund said. “It’s hard to know who entered and who didn’t.”
She shared that the school had hosted a concert with Chris Young as the headliner back in 2014, but people weren’t buying tickets. With each factor, it kept the school from venturing off into adding ticket fares to fund the next year’s concert. There also is an option to reach out to bigger companies that are willing to sponsor the concert, such as Coca-Cola. However, the concert would be tied to the sponsor company, and it would take away from what makes the concert special to SFA.
In the end, all the Country artists that performed previously for the Homecoming concert were not to please the surrounding community, but were chosen with the given circumstances. SAA’s main priority is the students. So, the past two years of having artists not of the country genre is just at the right moment and right time. We appreciate the gesture, as they are artists who everyone has heard of in one way or another. Dancing to their music is a lot of fun as well. So, thank you SAA and all supporting organizations for doing the best you can, keeping the students in mind.