SpringFest: The End of a Bad Image?

Pat Hickey

News release from Mad Money‘s Jim Cramer: Finance professionals reveal that companies which operate at 30 percent capacity and lose money will not remain in operation for very long.



SpringFest has failed to generate a profit in either of its last two years while operating on irresponsible budgets. Attendance for its headliners have significantly dipped each year since 2008, when it hosted a sell-out crowd to Dashboard Confessional. In 2011, Jason Derulo performed to a half-empty crowd. In 2012, the event hit rock bottom when only 30 percent of venue capacity filled for Mike Posner.

The university said it doesn’t want to convey a bad image. Yet, its last SpringFest featured inflatable carnival rides (which, shockingly, weren’t very attractive to 20 year olds) during the day to set the stage for Posner (whose lyrics often devalue women) as the headline act at night.

Now, Provost Ron Rochon and the event committee must come up with a solution.

I have a few suggestions.

First, we need to ditch the family fun atmosphere. If the university’s goal is also to improve campus lifestyle, give the students what they want at the most anticipated campus event of the school year – that means an end to the lame carnival rides. An alternative could be coordinating with Greek Life and other organizations. Suggest concluding Greek Week on the afternoon of SpringFest, and have other student organizations provide free food to further promote the event.

Second, lean heavily towards quality over quantity. Cut the 20 acts that hardly anyone cares about, and spread the money evenly between one up-and-coming country, rock and hip-hop artist. With a hypothetical budget of $90,000, we need to sell only two-thirds of the 3000 tickets available for each act to ensure a profit of at least $30,000, assuming each ticket costs $20. Promote the event and its new change in atmosphere.

Lastly, have the SpringFest committee assemble a team of responsible, knowledgeable students who will use student surveys only to decide which artists should perform. Posner was not in the top 10 choices for students, according to the survey. That’s unacceptable. Clean lyrics and quality tunes do exist, and thanks to the wonderful invention of the Internet, they can easily be found.

SpringFest 2013 doesn’t need to be canceled. Act swiftly, and carry out thy command.