As a result of underwhelming ticket sales, ASCMC will face a loss estimated at $25,000 following the LMFAO concert on April 2nd at Bridges Auditorium.
Deficient public support for the concert seems to have been a major cause of its lackluster performance at the box office. Although CMC students showed a high interest and purchased nearly all of the tickets that had been allotted to them, barely 40% of tickets designated for general admission were sold. As a result, only 1,445 of 2,450 seats available were filled.
Numerous factors contributed to the financial loss resulting from the event. Aside from low ticket sales to the public, interest in the concert from the other four Claremont Colleges was lower than expected. ASCMC sold few tickets in bulk to student governments at Scripps College and Pitzer College and sold none in bulk to either Pomona College or Harvey Mudd College. It is unclear how many students from these colleges attended the concert.
ASCMC also overestimated the interest of the public in the event. After the Lupe Fiasco concert and the John Legend concert, both of which benefited from significant demand from beyond the Consortium, ASCMC had anticipated similar support for this event, a level of support that, unfortunately, never materialized.
Both the current and previous staff of the ASCMC Executive Board took steps to boost ticket sales after it became clear that many of the tickets just weren’t selling. Previous ASCMC Executive Board President Tammy Phan explained that the her Executive Board “reached out to local colleges” and “to local high schools” in an attempt to drum up support for LMFAO.
After spring break, the new Executive Board pursued similar tactics. Current ASCMC President Jessica Mao explained that her administration and members from the Dean of Students targeted “local schools and colleges” and started “posting the concert in local periodicals and online newsletters, as well as tracking down radio stations set-up at clubs to give away tickets and broadcast the concert.” They also reached out again to their counterparts at other schools. But with just over a week left until the concert, these efforts were too little, too late.
ASCMC’s elections, which occurred just weeks before the concert, seem to have had a negative impact on ticket sales. As current President of ASCMC, Jessica Mao notes that “election time came and diverted our previous board’s attention. The roles of the previous board members became ambiguous as the transition into the new administration kicked off and spring break arrived, creating a period longer than a week where the event went unnoticed and sold very few tickets. I think the timing of all of this took away from the focus of promoting LMFAO to the 5-C’s and general public.”
It is important to note that, although significant, the losses that will be experienced by ASCMC resulting from the LMFAO concert remain significantly lower than those resulting from the Lupe Fiasco concert of last year, which, according to former ASCMC Vice President Chris Jones, caused a “$50,000 loss for the organization.” Phan added that “last year, a huge problem was damages” to Bridges Auditorium, which ran up the bill for the Lupe Fiasco concert significantly, and that this year they “tried to minimize that.” Despite those losses, Jones noted that CMC was able to make a profit off the John Legend concert of last semester.
Regardless of the efforts of both the current and previous Executive Boards, the LMFAO concert still resulted in losses to ASCMC. President Jessica Mao, however, reassures students that “the additional costs will come out of our remaining budget for the year, but it will not affect clubs or student life in any way. Current club and event budgets will stay the same, and we will keep a close eye on our expenditures so that we can maintain a balanced budget in these final weeks.” Still, the $25,000 that was lost must be accounted for in some fashion, and students will see ASCMC’s budget tighten as a result.