The spring concerts, hosted by the University Program Board, will be held this Sunday and Monday in the Aebersold Recreation Center, featuring up and coming artists Brantley Gilbert and Big Sean.
Gilbert, a country artist, has more than doubled the ticket sales for Big Sean, a rapper, at close to 3,000, and University Program Board members believe that the concert will be sold out by Sunday at 7:30 p.m.
Ticket purchases for Big Sean hit the 1,000 mark on Monday.
Vice President of Concerts for UPB, Dave Wolfe, believes that students at SRU have wanted a country concert for the past two years, so they jumped on the opportunity, especially for an artist like Gilbert.
“We caught Brantley at the right time in his career, which has created a buzz of excitement for students,” Wolfe said. “A country artist hasn’t been here for so long, so I think this helped raise ticket sales.”
Anna Timko, a 21-year-old communication major, bought her Gilbert ticket the day that they went on sale in the University Union.
“My best friend talked me into listening to him, and I really liked his music,” Timko said. “I was supposed to go to his concert with Eric Church last month, but I couldn’t go, so I’m really excited for Sunday.”
It required more money to bring Big Sean to SRU at $56,500, whereas Gilbert agreed for $50,000.
Despite less money, Gilbert has appeared to be the bigger hit with students.
Shaune Johnson, a 21-year-old emerging technology major, is attending the Big Sean concert, but believes that most students on campus prefer country over rap.
“We live in a rural area that is predominantly white and likes country music,” Johnson said. “I think if we were in an urban area, we would have seen more Big Sean tickets sold.”
Shatreece Johnson, a 22-year-old social work major, is looking forward to the Big Sean concert because this will be her last concert at SRU.
“I’m a senior, so I definitely wanted to go to this last concert,” Johnson said.
This marks the first year that SRU has been able to hosts two spring concerts for students and the public, according to Wolfe.
“When we had Steve-O and Sean Kingston on campus last year, we were able to receive a lot of extra money, especially with Sean Kingston being sold out,” Wolfe said. “So this year, we had enough money for two concerts. “
Although the UPB offers a variety of music between the two concerts, students like Timko are questioning both prices and times of the concerts.
“I don’t know who would want to spend almost $40 on two concert tickets here,” Timko said. “Even if I wanted to go to the Big Sean concert Monday, I couldn’t, because I have a night class.”
Shatreece Johnson thought that the UPB could have planned two artists for one night and one price for a ticket. SRU student tickets were sold for $18, while the general public tickets cost $35 for each concert.
“I think students would have been more willing to see two artists together, instead of back-to-back nights,” Johnson said. “Ticket prices have gone up since last year, so not too many students can afford two separate tickets.”
Cameron Clingan, a 22-year-old safety management major, is going to the Gilbert concert Sunday night, but thinks that the UPB should have tried to get a bigger country singer to come to SRU.
“I’m glad that we finally have a country artist for one of the spring concerts,” Clingan said. “I just would have liked if SRU could have had Jake Owen or Jason Aldean instead of Brantley.”
The UPB had Luke Bryan and The Band Perry on the top of its list before selecting Gilbert, but conflicting schedules made it impossible for either artist to come to SRU this weekend.
Sunday will be the last concert Clingan will attend as a student at SRU, but hopes the UPB can come in contact with bigger country artists in the future.
“I think students want more country concerts here,” Clingan said. “I think it’s obvious by the high ticket sales for Brantley.”