Concert goes to dogs

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Students' union loses $100K on Snoop rap show

The Memorial University of Newfoundland Students' Union (MUNSU) is taking a $100,000 hit to the coffers, resulting from poor ticket sales for a Sept. 12 concert that featured rapper Snoop Dogg and was presented by the students' union.

With only half of the available tickets having been sold - 2,560 tickets - the union that represents 13,000 undergraduate students at the university has spent "about $106,000, plus or minus $5,000," MUNSU executive member Brad Russell said.

Snoop Dogg performs Sept. 12 at Mile One Centre. - Telegram file photo

The Memorial University of Newfoundland Students' Union (MUNSU) is taking a $100,000 hit to the coffers, resulting from poor ticket sales for a Sept. 12 concert that featured rapper Snoop Dogg and was presented by the students' union.

With only half of the available tickets having been sold - 2,560 tickets - the union that represents 13,000 undergraduate students at the university has spent "about $106,000, plus or minus $5,000," MUNSU executive member Brad Russell said.

"We knew the costs going into the concert," said Russell, who said the union had to sell 80 per cent of the tickets to break even on the Mile One Centre event.

That level of ticket sales was considered possible, said Russell, who arranges artist bookings. The sales for a concert featuring Our Lady Peace a year ago generated a $50,000 profit for the union, he said.

"We were hoping to sell out with the success of the concert the previous year. We were hoping to have the same response."

Cameron Campbell, MUNSU director of external affairs, communications and research, said the Our Lady Peace response was the hope, but the union also normally expects to spend about $30,000 for "large acts which we subsidize in order to bring here."

On Thursday, one student union representative publicly questioned MUNSU's involvement in big-name concerts.

Chris Bruce, a director-at-large, posted the details of the Snoop Dogg event on Facebook and is credited as stating that, "it essentially comes back to a broader philosophical question - should MUNSU be doing this kind of shit at all? From the very apparent risks, to me the answer is no."

Aside from the unexpectedly low ticket sales, Bruce said, the union gave out 1,000 complimentary tickets and "$10,000 was paid to get Snoop Dogg to come to (The Breezeway) for 'no less than 60 minutes,'" after the show.

Campbell confirmed there was a paid appearance at the bar.

"There was a contractual agreement to have Snoop Dogg show up at The Breezeway," he said.

Campbell said he could not state with certainty the amount provided for the rap star. The after-event was also sponsored, meaning the union did not have to cover the full amount for the appearance, he said.

A second-year student in the business faculty, Bertram Nash, said he thinks the concert was "a pricey risk."

"One genre of music isn't going to please the whole school," he said, noting the union was also competing on ticket sales with a show featuring Busta Rhymes, scheduled for the week after, before being postponed.

"It was expensive, too," said second-year biology student Codey Pilgrim. "Tickets were, like, $50. Not every student can spend $50 in the first week."

Asked why the financial numbers for the union - particularly a breakdown of student fee use and a projected budget - were not posted online, the executive members contradicted each other on what the current union policies are.

While Russell said that, "last year it was posted" and "(2009) finances will be going up shortly once the budgets have been ratified by the board," Campbell said quarterly reports are given to the executive board and open to members of the student union, "which are the undergraduate students of Memorial," he told The Telegram.

Both representatives said the student union's regular meetings - the next being Oct. 7 at 5 p.m. - in the union council chambers are open to any student who would like to put forward a proposal for student entertainment projects.

The meetings are also simultaneously broadcast on 93.5 CHMR FM.

afitzpatrick@thetelegram.com

Organizations: Our Lady Peace, Memorial University of Newfoundland Students, The Breezeway The Telegram

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Recent comments

  • Taxpayer
    July 02, 2010 - 13:34

    To wait what...don't you know that you sound like a vindictive fool, posting on every story in the hopes that your vile hateful lies will somehow take hold? Why don't you try and illustrate how Mr. Williams lost this money, instead of just throwing out this mindless diatribe on a continual basis? Do you really think that anyone(besides the rest of the HATERS) take you seriously? Instead of just manufacturing lies,why don't you provide some concrete proof? You won't, because you can't.

  • Larster
    July 02, 2010 - 13:34

    What do you expect when you bring in this type of nonsense ?Most universities in the US and Canada(check their websites)bring in quality artists from respectable genres--folk ,rock, country--who play for reasonable rates--rather than this drug-infested crap !

  • Better Luck Next Time
    July 02, 2010 - 13:34

    I have to agree, pretty bad idea.

    Hey Rosetta... Joel Plaskett... Wintersleep... Two Hours Traffic etc...

    For the price they paid they could of had a larger concert with many bands (local / Canadian) playing different genres that would of enticed a larger crowd.

    Just a thought.

  • Joe
    July 02, 2010 - 13:33

    Please, you have to get someone better than snoopdog, and some advertising would be nice. I never even heard of the show until this article.

    50 bucks are you kidding... I wouldn't go see him if you paid me. and i really mean that.

  • Mun Grad
    July 02, 2010 - 13:32

    While I agree that this was not the best choice of artist (considering it is the second time he has been here, and the audience for this genre is very specific and limited for our province), I think it is completely unrealistic to suggest that folk or country would be the best genre for university/college students.

  • Stan
    July 02, 2010 - 13:32

    crossover shows are the best. take 2 completely different things that people love and merge them together so you can get twice the audience. alternate the times which each happens so there's not a dull moment for the entire show (works well with music and wrestling for example)

  • OL SON
    July 02, 2010 - 13:31

    Ya I'm not a student.....Dropped like $60.00 to wait for snoop for 2 hours at mile one, than bought over priced beer and listen to him for 60 mins.. it's a bit much. You were better off to get chubby checker in at least he would have played for longer than an hour.....terrible work someone dropped it like it was HOT

  • Paul
    July 02, 2010 - 13:31

    Perhaps someone with MUNSU could actullay do a little research on what students in the 18-25 year old range actually listen to these days. What sells at the local stores, and more importantly what is being downloaded the most? I am pretty sure that if you strolled though residence on a Friday night you wouldn't hear any Snoop Dog coming from the rooms. While it is unrealistic to expect many big-name bands to play here, there has to be dozens (if not hundreds) of better choices.

  • Ty
    July 02, 2010 - 13:30

    B'ys...old Rap Crap is not the way to go. Rock is the way to go for making the dough. You would have done way better getting a couple local Canadain bands for way cheaper than a burnt out pied piper. You would have to pay ME to go see Snoop. Learn from this experience for next yaer please

  • Tim
    July 02, 2010 - 13:27

    Delighted beyond words! Fantastic. Feeding this utter trash up when we have really great selection of Canadian bands to choose from! Maybe some will see the light! $50 a ticket when most at MUN are eating Kraft Dinner!

  • Wait...
    July 02, 2010 - 13:24

    No worries, Flipper will pay it. He likes to toss the taxpayers money away on things like this. After all he has lost 2.4 Billion in a year, whats another few hundred thousand here or there.

    With the wages he permits his minions to grant themselves year after year while the rest of the people go without, we should be very use to things like this by now. We just do not care about our future do we.

  • Silly
    July 02, 2010 - 13:23

    Whoever thought Snoop Dog would be a good concept to make money should resign. Obviously they must have been fans - please stay in school, you might learn something, eventually...
    Why didn't this committee consider an act that the MAJORITY of students would enjoy - I'd like to know how many ladies went to the show? The only people gonna to Snoop were those that wanted to spark a J inside Mile One - like that's never been done before - as a MUN student this decision disappoints me greatly.

  • drew
    July 02, 2010 - 13:22

    10k to spend 60 mins at the Breezway trolling for skin. now that is productivity.

  • Cornergirl
    July 02, 2010 - 13:21

    Should have gotten Hey! Rosetta

  • Laughing to the Bank
    July 02, 2010 - 13:15

    $10K for an appearence at the Breezeway! I remember the days when guys like Snoop would happily line up with the rest of us to get in there. Man, what's happened to that place?

    If you want rap in Newfoundland why don't you hire some Gazeebo Unit type guys...you'd sell more tickets and they'd probably do it for a six pack of Blue Star.

    What's next? Ronnie Milsap during mid-term break?

  • Chris
    July 02, 2010 - 13:14

    I would like to clarify one thing. When Brad says, we he is referring to the Executive of the Student Union, not the board as a whole. In fact, from all the meeting minutes over the summer, executive reports and agendas Snoop dog doesn't appear once.

    The secrecy, combined with the fact that it was not approved by the board, makes this matter go far beyond simple bad planning.

  • David
    July 02, 2010 - 13:13

    MUNSU should go back to what worked in the past. Back in the late 80's and early 90's they brought in Canadian acts in a smaller venue (TSC) or had big local nights (Super TSC Nights) with several popular local acts on the bill. Costs were less, risk was less, and chances for profit were very high. Believe me, if you can provide students with a good reason to stay on campus and party, they will stay. Ah, the days when you had to line up in the early evening to get into the Breezeway.

  • Taxpayer
    July 01, 2010 - 20:23

    To wait what...don't you know that you sound like a vindictive fool, posting on every story in the hopes that your vile hateful lies will somehow take hold? Why don't you try and illustrate how Mr. Williams lost this money, instead of just throwing out this mindless diatribe on a continual basis? Do you really think that anyone(besides the rest of the HATERS) take you seriously? Instead of just manufacturing lies,why don't you provide some concrete proof? You won't, because you can't.

  • Larster
    July 01, 2010 - 20:23

    What do you expect when you bring in this type of nonsense ?Most universities in the US and Canada(check their websites)bring in quality artists from respectable genres--folk ,rock, country--who play for reasonable rates--rather than this drug-infested crap !

  • Better Luck Next Time
    July 01, 2010 - 20:23

    I have to agree, pretty bad idea.

    Hey Rosetta... Joel Plaskett... Wintersleep... Two Hours Traffic etc...

    For the price they paid they could of had a larger concert with many bands (local / Canadian) playing different genres that would of enticed a larger crowd.

    Just a thought.

  • Joe
    July 01, 2010 - 20:22

    Please, you have to get someone better than snoopdog, and some advertising would be nice. I never even heard of the show until this article.

    50 bucks are you kidding... I wouldn't go see him if you paid me. and i really mean that.

  • Mun Grad
    July 01, 2010 - 20:21

    While I agree that this was not the best choice of artist (considering it is the second time he has been here, and the audience for this genre is very specific and limited for our province), I think it is completely unrealistic to suggest that folk or country would be the best genre for university/college students.

  • Stan
    July 01, 2010 - 20:20

    crossover shows are the best. take 2 completely different things that people love and merge them together so you can get twice the audience. alternate the times which each happens so there's not a dull moment for the entire show (works well with music and wrestling for example)

  • OL SON
    July 01, 2010 - 20:20

    Ya I'm not a student.....Dropped like $60.00 to wait for snoop for 2 hours at mile one, than bought over priced beer and listen to him for 60 mins.. it's a bit much. You were better off to get chubby checker in at least he would have played for longer than an hour.....terrible work someone dropped it like it was HOT

  • Paul
    July 01, 2010 - 20:19

    Perhaps someone with MUNSU could actullay do a little research on what students in the 18-25 year old range actually listen to these days. What sells at the local stores, and more importantly what is being downloaded the most? I am pretty sure that if you strolled though residence on a Friday night you wouldn't hear any Snoop Dog coming from the rooms. While it is unrealistic to expect many big-name bands to play here, there has to be dozens (if not hundreds) of better choices.

  • Ty
    July 01, 2010 - 20:17

    B'ys...old Rap Crap is not the way to go. Rock is the way to go for making the dough. You would have done way better getting a couple local Canadain bands for way cheaper than a burnt out pied piper. You would have to pay ME to go see Snoop. Learn from this experience for next yaer please

  • Tim
    July 01, 2010 - 20:14

    Delighted beyond words! Fantastic. Feeding this utter trash up when we have really great selection of Canadian bands to choose from! Maybe some will see the light! $50 a ticket when most at MUN are eating Kraft Dinner!

  • Wait...
    July 01, 2010 - 20:09

    No worries, Flipper will pay it. He likes to toss the taxpayers money away on things like this. After all he has lost 2.4 Billion in a year, whats another few hundred thousand here or there.

    With the wages he permits his minions to grant themselves year after year while the rest of the people go without, we should be very use to things like this by now. We just do not care about our future do we.

  • Silly
    July 01, 2010 - 20:09

    Whoever thought Snoop Dog would be a good concept to make money should resign. Obviously they must have been fans - please stay in school, you might learn something, eventually...
    Why didn't this committee consider an act that the MAJORITY of students would enjoy - I'd like to know how many ladies went to the show? The only people gonna to Snoop were those that wanted to spark a J inside Mile One - like that's never been done before - as a MUN student this decision disappoints me greatly.

  • drew
    July 01, 2010 - 20:07

    10k to spend 60 mins at the Breezway trolling for skin. now that is productivity.

  • Cornergirl
    July 01, 2010 - 20:04

    Should have gotten Hey! Rosetta

  • Laughing to the Bank
    July 01, 2010 - 19:55

    $10K for an appearence at the Breezeway! I remember the days when guys like Snoop would happily line up with the rest of us to get in there. Man, what's happened to that place?

    If you want rap in Newfoundland why don't you hire some Gazeebo Unit type guys...you'd sell more tickets and they'd probably do it for a six pack of Blue Star.

    What's next? Ronnie Milsap during mid-term break?

  • Chris
    July 01, 2010 - 19:53

    I would like to clarify one thing. When Brad says, we he is referring to the Executive of the Student Union, not the board as a whole. In fact, from all the meeting minutes over the summer, executive reports and agendas Snoop dog doesn't appear once.

    The secrecy, combined with the fact that it was not approved by the board, makes this matter go far beyond simple bad planning.

  • David
    July 01, 2010 - 19:52

    MUNSU should go back to what worked in the past. Back in the late 80's and early 90's they brought in Canadian acts in a smaller venue (TSC) or had big local nights (Super TSC Nights) with several popular local acts on the bill. Costs were less, risk was less, and chances for profit were very high. Believe me, if you can provide students with a good reason to stay on campus and party, they will stay. Ah, the days when you had to line up in the early evening to get into the Breezeway.