Published on March 22nd, 2017 | by John Cote0
Backlash From Southern Takeover
Florida Southern hosted Raury and DJ Earworm for the annual Southern Takeover, a choice that caused some upset in the student population.
“The Association of Campus Entertainment (ACE) has a committee that works to select artists within a certain budget range based on artist availability,” Assistant Dean of student development Mike Crawford said.
The committee surveyed students to see which genre of music they would like to see at this year’s Southern Takeover. According to ACE, the highest rated genre was hip-hop/rap, which Raury and DJ Earworm fall under. So then what was the budget range?
“The artist’s budgets were basically the same from year to year,” Crawford said.
Last year $67,000 was spent for Southern Takeover while this year roughly $50,000 was spent, according to Crawford. The difference in the spending comes from renting a stage and additional video production equipment, not costs related to obtaining the artists. It’s the decisions the committee made that students were unhappy with.
Part of the problem with the artists picked was that not enough students knew who they were or had heard them perform. Ninety percent of students who answered our online survey said they had not heard of either of the performers before the reveal.
“We did not receive any feedback after the reveal on March 1 so we thought the students approved of the selection,” Assistant Director of student involvement and ACE advisor Jackie Inskeep said.
Inskeep mentioned ACE would have made changes had they known the students were unhappy with the selected lineup.
To help with student feedback, ACE will be putting out more polls for students to give them options on artists before a final selection is made, that way even those not a part of the organization have a say. Unknown artists was not the only reason students did not attend the annual concert.
Sixty-seven percent of students who answered the survey did not attend Southern Takeover for various reasons. Responses indicated that there were two main problems: The artists who performed and the venue.
This year Southern Takeover was held in Branscomb Auditorium instead of Mr. George’s Green or Jenkins Fieldhouse. However, this is not the first time Southern Takeover took place in Branscomb.
Southern Takeover has had multiple locations in the past. Twice it was held in Branscomb Auditorium, twice on Mr. George’s Green, and once in Jenkins Fieldhouse due to a scheduling conflict with Branscomb.
Multiple students that answered the survey anonymously left comments like: “Make it more of a festival on the Green” and “Get better people and have it anywhere but Branscomb.”
The backlash from the students on the artists and venue is causing some changes for next year’s performance.
When asked about what ACE will be changing for next year, Crawford did mention that they will be looking to move the venue back outside to Mr. George’s Green.
ACE has also put out a satisfaction survey that covers all of ACE’s events, including Southern Takeover. They hope to use this feedback to adjust events to increase attendance and appeal to more students.