Macklemore x Ryan Lewis
Published: Thursday, May 9, 2013
Updated: Thursday, May 9, 2013 14:05
Bob Dustin, Assistant Director of Student Life Programs, is experienced in snagging impressive acts. This year, he has been working hard to make sure our spring concert with Macklemore & Ryan Lewis is a great success. I asked him for insider information on the concert this Saturday:
Sabrina Mastronardo: Compared to previous spring concert acts, how hard was it to get Macklemore to perform?
Bob Dustin: The process was relatively similar to previous years (the process usually involves picking dates, surveying the student body, picking/ranking potential artists, making offers for those artists, and then negotiating on fees, etc.), but it definitely was a little bit more challenging than normal this year. This was mainly because of how ‘in-demand’ Macklemore & Ryan Lewis are. They had other offers for the same date as our concert, so we had to negotiate with his agency against other venues to get him to come to Lafayette. We basically ended up offering him a bit more than the other places - and that’s how he ended up here!
SM: What’s one “behind the scenes” thing you can you tell us about how you have been preparing for the concert?
BD: This year, I think the thing that’s been the most difficult has been the change in venue. Since our normal location (the big gym) wasn’t available because of the renovations, we had to look for an alternative venue, which caused a lot of difficulties. The Lafayette campus has very few locations that are big enough to hold the entire student body, much less a large contingent of attendees from off campus. The four venues we have are the big gym, Fisher Field, Metzger, and the Quad.
The big gym wasn’t available, the Quad was still being renovated in the fall (and it’s crazy difficult to secure as a venue), Metzger would have required dozens of buses (very expensive), and Fisher Field presented its own ‘special’ issues. The venue is massive and requires a lot of extra security, additional production stuff [sound, stage, barricade, etc. etc.], plus, we had to figure out a way to make sure that the turf/facility was protected.
We initially even considered going off campus to Stabler Arena or Steel Stacks over in Bethlehem, but decided that Fisher Field was our best option. There have been a lot of logistical issues and it has been a ton of work to pull off the concert this year - much, much more than a ‘normal’ concert in the gym. But...I think that it will all be worth it - Fisher Field is going to look really cool on Saturday and I think this show is going to be pretty awesome. I’m just hoping that the weather holds out!
SM: What special accommodations or requests have you had to make for Macklemore?
BD: Nothing too extravagant, honestly. Besides the normal stuff (dressing room, catering, meals, etc.), he and his crew haven’t really asked for too much. I had worked with Macklemore previously (I used to work at the University of Washington and I brought him there a few times), so I knew that he was a very nice and laid-back, easy-going guy, so I wasn’t too surprised that his demands were very low key.
I will say that Macklemore’s rider (the list of stuff that they ask for in their dressing room) is very healthy! Without getting into specifics, they ask for a lot of organic fruits and veggies, and healthy food options, which is pretty cool to see – especially compared to some of the outrageously unhealthy things that other bands/performers have asked for at shows I have done in the past.
SM. Are you planning on more people attending the concert than in prior
BD. Yes, definitely. The maximum capacity in the Kirby Sports Center is approximately 5,000 (we reached that sell-out number in 2010 at the Kid Cudi concert). So far this year, we are expecting approximately 2,500 Lafayette attendees (especially since tickets are free this year). And we have sold well over 3,600 tickets, as well. My guess is that the total attendance for this concert will be somewhere between 6,500 and 7,500, - quite possibly more.