Gull Fest faces struggles due to SOAP budget cuts

BY BJ DARDEN

Staff Writer

Following a three-act performance at the last few year’s Gull Fests, 2016’s Gullfest will be facing harsh cut backs, likely making it a single act performance with the possibility of there being one or two smaller acts added to the lineup.

“We have significant budget cuts this year, compared to previous years,” said Liana Ramos-Izquierdo, who is in charge of concerts for the Student Organization for Activity Planning. “I’m trying to get it to a point where we can have more than one act, but it’s looking like it’s going to be one large act.”

Gullfest 2015 welcomed artists Mac Miller, Jessie J and MKTO, all of whom are platinum selling. The cutbacks could mean a large drop in content for this year.

“It was a cut back to all of student activities, not just SOAP,” Izquierdo said.

Students, upon hearing of the possibilities, are not pleased.

“Less acts would definitely suck,” sophomore Kyle Gahagan said. “I didn’t go last year, but if they want me to go they’re going to need a big single act if they can only afford one.”

“I understand if there’s budget cuts, but that sucks for getting a good act at Gullfest,” sophomore Scotty Bandy said.

Other questions still remain surrounding Gullfest, as well, one of which being who the performer, or performers, will be.

SOAP took to Commons last week to survey students on which acts they would like to see at Gullfest. Artists on the survey included Walk the Moon, Childish Gambino, Chance the Rapper, Fallout Boy and Fetty Wap, among others.

Narrowing down the list for possible Gullfest acts is not an easy task, according to Izquierdo.

“I pay attention to what’s going on around me, on social media (and) what people are talking about,” she said.

She said it is also hard to draw attention to the music festival when there are so many to choose from across the country, but making Gullfest stand out is necessary.

“We looked at all the headliners for the different music festivals in the U.S. this year, so (places like) Firefly, Warped Tour and Coachella,” Izquierdo said.

New methods are also being put into place to see which acts students want to see at Gullfest this year.

In previous years, SOAP would email out a survey where students could choose any act they wanted.

“People are looking at their email less and less, and even though this is something that actually pertains to them, it would still be a hassle to get them to respond,” Izquierdo said. “I’m trying new things where I’m going to them, instead of having them come to us.”

In addition to the survey outside Commons, Izquierdo said there will be more opportunities for students to put in their vote in the next few weeks, which students seem to appreciate.

“I’m definitely all for the opportunity to get students’ voices weighed in on who we see at Gullfest,” sophomore Patrick Miller said. “Last year felt kind of random, in terms of lineup, but if we get some kind of choice it would definitely make things better I feel.”

When the decision is made who SOAP will ask to perform, it still may take some time to finalize the act.

“We might not do it until a few weeks before (Gullfest),” Izquierdo said, “Right now I’m working on getting everything finalized.”

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