There were more than 5,000 people at Big Show this year, as compared to 2,100 last year, and the individuals involved at Associated Students’ division of Student Production and Campus Entertainment are extremely proud.
This year’s Big Show provided many firsts for the on-campus concert series. It was in the fall semester, tickets were $10 for non-CSUN students, and Ticketmaster was used for advertising. Student Production and Campus Entertainment (SPACE) director Jennifer Santos said these three things helped make Big Show such a success.
“The Big Show was a phenomenal success because of the people who contributed their hard work, and the student turnout made it even better,” said Nathaniel Stiles, lead back stage for Big Show 6 and A.S. Chief of Staff.
Big Show 5 was held in Spring 2005. There was no Big Show in Spring 2006 because of budget and financing issues, so it was moved to the fall semester. In the 2005-2006 annual budget, SPACE was allocated $112,000, but there was no funding for the Big Show. This year’s budget provided $130,000 for all SPACE events.
According to Santos, last spring the senate had allocated $30,000 for the Big Show, but since the event was postponed, the unused money would have been swept into the unallocated reserves fund and the capitol and technological reserves fund. In a July senate meeting, SPACE fought to retain the unused money for the fall Big Show.
Santos said that including the $30,000 from the previous year, the A.S. Senate allocated $70,000 for this year’s Big Show.
Bills are still coming in from the Big Show, but Santos estimates the total cost at approximately $130,000.
There were 2,321 tickets sold at $10 each, and half of the proceeds will go to SPACE and the other half to the A.S. Ticket Office (the ticket office charges SPACE for their services). In the past, Big Show was a free event for students and the community, but Santos said she felt that charging non-students for tickets helped raise the attendance.
Having the entire summer to plan Big Show was a difference that Santos said she thinks will affect the event’s placement next year. According to Santos, Big Show has been traditionally held at the end of the spring semester as a sort of farewell.
“It was the last show, then finals, then graduation,” Santos said.
The 12-member SPACE board spent six months planning for this year’s events, meeting twice a week and four times specifically to plan Big Show. Santos said it would not have been possible to meet that often if the students also had to deal with a full school schedule and a job.
“Having it the first month of school was a great way to jump start involvement and keep people involved,” Santos said.
In previous Big Shows, the booked entertainment has been pre-packaged. For Big Show 5, Jimmy Eat World and Taking Back Sunday were already on tour, so equipment and travel costs were not an issue. This year, however, SPACE packaged all three bands separately and was forced to take on extra costs because the performers were not on tour.
“It felt like a high-end event with performers needing green rooms and things like that,” Santos said. She mentioned that many students have since expressed desire to be a part of SPACE after seeing and attending Big Show.
In order to supplement some of the budget, SPACE had proposed to attain $10,000 in corporate sponsors, but that did not happen. Santos blamed this year’s lack of corporate sponsorship on time constraints and lack of experience, but was optimistic about next year’s show.
“With the experience we gained from this year’s Big Show, next year we should be able to get food vendors and substantial corporate sponsors,” Santos said.
Santos and the rest of the SPACE board had a lot of pressure to make this year’s Big Show a success. Because Big Show is so expensive, the administration really wanted to see a better turnout than last year.
“This could have easily been the last Big Show, but instead the response from the administration was the first time we’ve ever received this much praise. They realized what it means to students by their attendance,” Santos said.
“Our goal was to double or triple the attendance from the previous Big Show, and we did – 2,100 to almost 6,000. That’s good,” Santos said.
SPACE wanted to establish Big Show as an annual part of CSUN and make people see that this needs to happen every year, and Santos said she thinks they have achieved that goal with Big Show 6.
Santos said she looks forward to comments from night or graduate students who do not often have the luxury of attending SPACE events.
“To those people not interested, I would invite them to speak with us or in the senate open forum because changes can only be made if we know about them,” Santos said.
Next year’s Big Show preparations could begin as early as January 2007. As soon as the annual budget is confirmed, Big Show 7 can get started.
She also said they have a new director of night activities for those students who work during the day.