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ISSUE 120 VOL 16 PUBLISHED 3/23/2007

Pause surveys

By Alyssa Kleven
Contributing Writer

Friday, March 23, 2007

Between Feb. 24 and March 2, St. Olaf students were invited to participate in a survey conducted by the Pause about what kind of music they like and what kind of music they hoped to see at the Pause-sponsored events. Approximately 1,150 students participated in the online survey.

Survey results have been tabulated, and the Pause staff is currently working on securing a spring concert (Lutefest) headliner.

Students were asked how much of their attendance depended upon a specific artist. A majority, 57 percent, said that the performer would be “Fairly important (I'd like it to be a popular band or musician, but it probably won't prevent me from attending if it isn't).” Most students who took the survey expressed an interest in one nationally known artist as opposed to two lesser-known artists.

Jacob Dalager ‘09 took the survey and did not opt for the “number one nationally rated artist” choice on the survey. “I would want two artists from different genres, then I would be more likely to attend,” he said. Dalager didn’t attend last year because he wasn’t interested in the headlining artist. “The music is the main reason I would go,” he said. “It’s the artist that brings me in.”

Mane Stage Concert Coordinator, Shayna Melgaard ‘07 administered the survey. She stated that several of the questions pertaining to Mane Stage events would be valuable for next year, but the Lutefest questions were most important for this year.

The high number of responses were exciting and useful to Melgaard and to the rest of the concert committee as well. About a third of the school responded to the survey.

Melgaard and the committee hope that the responses will help guide them in a direction that will please more students. “The concert committee and I had some ideas about which direction to go this spring – to shy away from the type of music we've been heavy for the past couple of years.” Other than this, they did not know what kind of results the survey would generate.

Questions were carefully worded, since, just because an artist might fall into a particular category, that would not mean that they were in the committee’s price range, or even touring in the spring. Price is a large factor, since Lutefest, an outdoor concert, is free.

The announcement of the spring concert artist will happen sometime after spring break. Melgaard and the concert committee are in the process of signing contracts with talent. Melgaard did reveal that Mat Kearney and Gym Class Heroes, both suggested artists on the first question of the survey, became unavailable shortly after the survey was administered.

Melgaard realizes that while getting input from a large amount of students should help cut down on the number of complaints about the suggested band, complaints will surface anyway. “It was our goal with the survey to allow more transparency in the event-planning process by letting people in on what musicians and bands are on our radar, so we can book an event that most people will enjoy,” Melgaard said.

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