Making the ‘Mos’ of your money

By By Rochelle McConkie

By Rochelle McConkie

Students will need to pay to see hip-hop artist and actor Mos Def perform in this year’s spring concert festival The Grand Kerfuffle-an event that was previously free.

Although the Associated Students of the University of Utah and Presenter’s Office-sponsored event, formerly known as Mayfest, has been free in previous years, U students will now pay a $5 entrance fee to attend the event on April 18.

Presenter’s Office Director Kyle Hansen recently said the decision to charge students the fee was not related to last year’s Presenter’s Office overspending.

Last year’s three-day concert featured headlining acts Yellowcard and the Yeah Yeah Yeahs. The office overspent its budget by $66,000, which exhausted the $170,000 reserve fund collected from past administrations. The office spent more than $270,000 on the show.

Hansen told The Daily Utah Chronicle in August that without a reserve to fall back on, students would have to pay entry fees to music festivals this year.

“We decided to charge to be able to bring bigger named artists working within our budget,” Hansen said.

Although Hansen was originally unsure of which concerts students would be charged for, he said the Presenter’s Office decided to have students pay for the Redfest concert festival in September so they could have a “good size Kerfuffle.” He called the charge an “appropriate use of funds.”

By charging students for these events, Hansen said he hopes to give out about 1,000 free student tickets to attend the debate between Salt Lake City Mayor Rocky Anderson and conservative pundit Sean Hannity. The debate, sponsored by ASUU, will be held May 4 and the venue has yet to be decided.

Although the total cost ASUU will spend to produce this year’s Kerfuffle has not been determined, Hansen said he estimates the concert will cost about $80,000.

The Presenter’s Office currently has $80,000 in its budget, but money will be made up through ticket revenue. The office expects between $12,000 and $20,000 in extra revenue.

About $40,000 has already been spent on the Kerfuffle, with $35,000 going toward artist fees.

While the Presenter’s Office went over its personal budget last year, current leaders said ASUU as a whole was not affected by changes made in its budget.

“We had a certain budget we were trying to meet, but we knew very well that we could use other funding to pay for the event,” said former Student Body President Ali Hasnain.

Current Student Body President Jake Kirkham said his administration has adamantly encouraged everyone on staff to stay within its budget.

Kirkham said he does not believe an entrance fee will have a negative effect on concert attendance.

“By charging for events, it just allows us to do more programming,” Kirkham said. “Students are still getting a great deal?Mos Def is a very popular artist and $5 is not bad at all.”

Hansen said the Presenter’s Office was looking for a hip-hop concert this year and students expressed interest in the possibility of Mos Def coming to the U. The bands Hezekiah and AKA That Subliminal Kid will open the concert.

Yellowcard lead singer Ryan Key belts one into the microphone at last year’s Grand Kerfuffle. The Presenter’s Office will be charging $5 for this year’s April 18 event.