WQAQ is set to host its annual Spring Fest concert on Saturday, April 16 at 7 p.m. with doors opening at 6 p.m. in Burt Kahn Court. This year’s lineup for the concert consists of four alternative bands: Balance and Composure, Superheaven, Pile, and Busdris.
Junior game design and development major Manny Gomez, the radio station’s production manager, knows that a big name alternative band, like Balance and Composure, is going to bring in a bigger crowd than previous years, especially from people outside of Quinnipiac. Gomez predicts it will be the radio station’s biggest concert since The Ramones. So far, about 150 tickets have been sold online to the public outside of Quinnipiac and the radio station is anticipating more sales the week of the actual concert.
“This is one of the bigger bands we’ve booked…They sell out every time they are nearby,” Gomez said.
The number of Quinnipiac attendees is projected to be lower, however. WQAQ is expecting around 70-100 students to attend.
Last year’s lineup consisted of bands within the similar genre; Pianos Become the Teeth, Pity Sex, Great Caesar, Strange Kids, Bobby Mahoney and the Seventh Son, and Nice Guys Finish Last. However, attendance was low, especially from Quinnipiac students. The organization learned from last year’s numbers and have worked on their promotion as a tactic to raise student attendance, with a little help from the headlining act.
“Kids just don’t find out about it, which is what we don’t want,” Gomez explained. “There are people that might love Balance and Composure and be like, ‘oh wait, they played at Quinnipiac?’ [Balance and Composure] tweeted ‘we’re gonna play Quinnipiac on April 16.’ That was awesome. That’s really cool ‘cuz we don’t ask for that.”
Megan Manfredi, one of WQAQ’s music managers, knows how crucial promotion around the Quinnipiac campus and Connecticut can be, through flyers, posters or social media like Facebook groups.
“One major thing we learned from last year’s event is how big of an impact promotion, or lack thereof, has on an event’s turnout,” Manfredi said. “This year we booked the concert toward the end of the summer, beginning of fall so we have had a lot more time to finalize everything and really promote the event.”
Gomez admits they have a hard time getting the QU audience and attention that SPB’s Fall Fest or Wake the Giant typically get.
“Unless it’s pop music, very, very pop music or very well known, I think colleges are always gonna be tricky. Quinnipiac is known to be more country oriented,” Gomez said. “I think it’s a drawback of colleges having so many different people. Sometimes [the band] will be like, ‘Do they like us? Probably not.’”
Manfredi recognizes that there’s more diversity in music taste on campus than meets the eye.
“Despite popular belief, not all Quinnipiac students are solely into country music so if someone sees that a band like Balance and Composure is playing on campus they could get really excited,” Manfredi said. “We want to make sure we reach these people and that they know this event is happening.”
The concert will be held in the Burt Kahn basketball court, which doesn’t come without its problems. Although the sound and the lighting in the gym aren’t ideal because it’s a basketball court, the radio station tries to work through the issues. It hires a professional sound company to ensure that the sound is the best it can be and doesn’t get lost in the open space.
“Burt Kahn Court is not a conventional concert venue in any sense, but we make it work,” Manfredi said. “The more people that come, the less noticeable it is that you’re in a gym.”
Gomez also explained that previous bands have been a little bit surprised by the make-shift venue.
“I’m pretty sure last year one of the bands said, ‘Wow, I haven’t played in a gym in awhile,’ Gomez said. “It’s funny but I think it gives it character.”
The organization tried to find another venue off campus to hold the concert, but felt it was important to keep the concert on campus, despite the not-so-concert-friendly gym. If it was held off campus, students potentially would have no transportation. The radio station is unable to book the TD Bank Sports Center for the show, even though that could be a better alternative.
“We want to keep it close to us, ‘cuz we could look at different venues that appeal to more people that never go to Quinnipiac. And then we might lose that Quinnipiac following,” Gomez explained. “We do care about Quinnipiac students, but we also try to do the best for both…If we don’t get a huge QU turnout, it’s not the end of the world for us.”
Gomez hopes that people will check out the bands, even if they don’t necessarily know who the artists are.
“Sometimes people don’t go to concerts ‘cus they don’t know the band. It might not be their style and that’s fair, but I think that what we try to do is bring new things to people. It’s an alternative, punk band so it won’t be liked by everyone,” Gomez said. “I think that people should really give it a chance ‘cuz we do try our best. Yeah, it’s not Fetty Wap, but it’s still great artists. And you might find your next favorite band.”
WQAQ’s Spring Fest is free for Quinnipiac students with a QCard. For those outside of Quinnipiac interested in attending, tickets are sold at wqaqspringfest.brownpapertickets.com.
“The event is going to be an amazing time,” Manfredi said. “The lineup is great. It’s a free concert for Quinnipiac students that would normally cost over $20 elsewhere.”