UTAH TECH UNIVERSITY'S STUDENT NEWS SOURCE | November 08, 2022

It’s up to the students, do you want LANY or Dan + Shay to perform at Utah Tech?

The crowd at the Greater Zion Stadium for the 2022 4th of July concert at Utah Tech University. Photo courtesy of UMAC.

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An A-list artist performing in southern Utah sounds pretty cool, but how does an A-list artist performing at Utah Tech University sound?

In the Oct. 20 Thursday update, Student body president Devon Rice, a marketing major from Bountiful, announced a notable survey for Utah Tech students to take to determine the future of entertainment events at Utah Tech.

A couple of the questions students saw in the survey are:

  • Have you ever attended a concert in southern Utah?
  • Have you ever paid for live entertainment in southern Utah?
  • How interested are you in experiencing a popular artist/band at Utah Tech?
  • Would you prefer to purchase a bleacher/seat ticker or general admission/pit ticket?
  • Select the artist you would be most interested in (Dan + Shay, LANY, French Montana and Phoebe Bridgers)

Every year Utah Tech hosts some sort of live entertainment/concert for students, but this year Utah Tech Student Association decided they want to try going for a more high-profile artist. However, there are obviously some hurdles that may be difficult to jump.

Rice said: “That is why we are bringing it to a student vote because we need to know what students want. We need to know, first of all, do you even want entertainment? We hear it all the time everyone wants entertainment but we need proof now.”

In order for Utah Tech to host a band like LANY or artists like Dan + Shay, there needs to be solid data and numbers from the students, as this is a costly event that involves big risks that UTSA would need to take. The data helps to determine how interested students are in having a bigger artist perform at the university, what price they are willing to pay, where they would like to see the concert take place on campus, and more. Once this information is gathered, UTSA is able to determine price points and how big of an artist they can get to come to Utah Tech.

“This year we wanted to explore bringing out an A-List artist, but A-list cost anywhere from $200,000 to millions of dollars to bring out and our budget is far below that,” said vice president of student life Anna Barfuss, a junior recreation and sport management major from St. George.

Rice said if UTSA is able to bring out LANY, they will charge a minimum of $50 a ticket, which is considerably a good deal compared to an average of $224 per ticket at USANA Amphitheatre. Even though this is a higher ticket price, LANY is a bigger name, so people are more willing to pay. In past years, the entry ticket for a Utah Tech concert has either been a lower price or no price at all. 

Rice said: “I think it’s super important for students to know that we aren’t in the business of making money off these shows, but we are in the business of making live entertainment on campus a self-sufficient, affordable and well-oiled machine. What this looks like is building roughly a $300k concert fund that replenishes itself each year when the new artist comes in.”

Barfuss said concerts are one of the biggest things asked for, and this is why they want to go big this year.

“We need to either get a small artist that is really low risk and low investment, or we need to get a big artist that is a big enough name that people from northern Utah would be willing to come down to see,” Rice said.

The information UTSA will gather from this survey isn’t for just this year. The information gathered will help with future entertainment events at the University. Rice said if we start now with an A-list artist bringing in funding, the groundwork is laid for the future of potential, A-list artist concerts at Utah Tech.

“It is a big risk all-in-all, but we are willing to take it, and we need this data from the students to show that it’s something students want, and the students themselves are willing to take this risk,” Rice said.

The goal number for survey submissions is 1,000, which is a comparable, realistic number to how many students vote during student elections.

Barfuss said: “I think anything really is possible. We can make anything happen if it is what students want. Every initiative on campus, whether it is new buildings or an artist, is driven by the students, so that is why the survey is so important.”