Coolio won’t be gracing Georgetown with his presence this fall-and neither will any other band or musician. A combination of organizational shuffling, failed plans, and budget concerns caused the Georgetown Programming Board to rule out plans for a fall concert this semester.
According to GPB’s Special Events Chair Becky Akinyode (MSB `11), GPB planned to organize a concert in conjunction with Midnight Madness, but because their 2008 Concert Chair stepped down, the board was unable to bring that plan to fruition.
“We decided the whole board would come together to create a concert, but when that fell through, we couldn’t have one,” she said.
GPB also saw the University reduce its budget this year. Akinyode said that in September, GPB and other student organizations met with University administrators, who warned them to prepare for significant budget cuts.
“So even though plans for the concert fell through, the money to have the concert wouldn’t have been there,” Akinyode said.
With funding scarce this year, GPB also had to cut down on the financial support it typically provides other student organizations. WGTB, Georgetown’s student run radio, was unable to put on a concert this semester because the organization depends on GPB to help fund its concerts.
According to Traviss Cassidy (COL `09), a member of the WGTB board, much of GPB’s budget comes from donations from the Coca-Cola corporation, which scaled back on its philanthropic donations in response to the current economic crisis. [Cassidy is a senior writer for the Voice.]
GPB has brought bands like Common and Fountains of Wayne to Georgetown in past years, but the cost of bringing in such big names can be expensive.
“For Common, we had to get outside funding,” Akinyode said. “It cost maybe $65,000-80,000 dollars. That’s why we charged to get in, too, because we don’t usually do that.”
Akinyode pointed out that the fall concert is not exactly a tradition. While there have been two concerts a year in previous years, GPB makes no special effort to have a concert every semester, she said.
“[GPB’s] budget is now cut significantly, and [we] would prefer to use the money we do have allocated for concerts on the big spring kick-off event,” Jackie Mendez, GPB Chair, wrote in an email.