As of Monday, ASAP has sold 610 of the 8,000 tickets available for its RamJam concert and is set to lose $62,000 — even if the other 7,390 tickets are sold.
That comes out to $2.40 lost per CSU student.
Last year’s RamJam event, with B.o.B and Sean Kingston, sold 5,241 tickets to generate $47,817 in revenue. The show’s budget was $172,000, which meant it lost ASAP $124,183. That’s about $4.80 per CSU student.
Students pay a $9.21 per semester in fees to ASAP, which provides the event-planning organization with about $442,000 this year. The organization also has a commitment to the Student Fee Review Board to generate an additional $50,000 in revenue per year, bringing the total yearly budget to just under $500,000.
ASAP officials are optimistic, however, that sales will increase as the Sept. 15 Cobra Starship and Breathe Carolina shows draw closer.
“We’ve found in past years that we sell the majority of our tickets either the week of or the day of [the show],” said ASAP Marketing Director Val Ho.
The organization is a student-staffed event planning group whose mission is to bring diverse and affordable events to CSU.
“We feel very confident of the number of tickets we’ve sold right now and we anticipate that to go up a lot the week of the concert,” Ho said.
ASAP hopes to generate $98,000 in ticket revenue by selling all 8,000 tickets to a combination of CSU students and the general public. Tickets are $10 for students and $22 for the general public. The show is budgeted to cost $160,000, spelling out a $62,000 loss under the best case scenario.
However, according to a “Myth Busters” section on the ASAP website, the goal of the organization isn’t to turn a profit or to break even on shows, but to make enough money to host other events throughout the year.
“Booking is definitely an art,” said Heather Starbuck, the director of Program Council, a CU–Boulder organization that provides entertainment to CU students. “You want to hit that sweet spot where you book an up-and-coming act that’s gotten big when they finally do your show.”
Starbuck said Program Council receives $5.50 in student fees per year which add up to just under $200,000 and has an operating budget of approximately $400,000.
The other $200,000 comes from providing services like marketing, a full-blown production team and security to outside businesses.
Program Council also operates a small club, Club 156, where a small cover charge is implemented.
With help from this outside revenue, Program Council is able to host about 75 events per year on campus, free to charge for CU students.
The weekend of Aug. 25 saw 9,500 student’s show up to see electro-funk band Ghostland Observatory at the CU Welcome Fest. Starbuck said the budget for that show was approximately $100,000 and no cover was charged for entry.
Ho said, however, that the two organizations have different mission statements.
“I think our organization is run differently. We’re a non-profit so our mentality is different. We have staff from a wide variety of majors, from landscape architects to social workers,” Ho said. “We do our best to cater to all the students at CSU, we want to provide a wide range of entertainment that’s not always music.”
According to students the buzz around RamJam this year hasn’t been the same as years before.
“Last year [RamJam] was a big deal. I heard about it everywhere, but haven’t seen anything this year,” said junior equine science major Talon Speaect.
As for student fees being used to pay for entertainment for students, Speaect said it was probably worth it.
“It’s a good opportunity at the beginning of the year to meet other people, if you’re at the concert then the people around you are into the same music and it creates a community.”
A corn maze in October, an interactive murder mystery and fireworks at homecoming are a few examples of the 55 events ASAP puts on each year.
As for the choice of entertainers at RamJam, ASAP Executive Director Heather Jones said lining up the right act at the right time can be tricky. She said in some cases performers don’t even want to do shows on college campuses.
Part of this year’s selection came about as the results of surveys and focus groups ASAP conducted on campus. The results said students showed an interest in acts different than the hip-hop shows which have been prevalent in the past.
Senior Reporter Austin Briggs can be reached at email@example.com.