STAR considers charging for concert tickets, bigger bands

St. Thomas students may experience a significant change in the way they enjoy the annual free fall and spring on-campus concerts. STAR is considering selling tickets in exchange for hosting more current, bigger-name bands.

According to STAR adviser Matt Gustafson, the concept of hosting bigger acts is still in the early planning stages. STAR is currently gathering student opinion about this new concert development.

While concerts held by other local universities inspired the idea of hosting bigger acts, STAR programming intern Will Besser said the decision to sell tickets is being carefully considered.

“We pride ourselves on offering something that other universities are not able to: free concerts,” he said.

A main concern is the difficulty with scheduling touring musicians.

“Oftentimes these artists are on tour, and it costs more to schedule them for shows because of their popularity,” Besser said.

Besser said STAR would consider hosting bands with current songs on the radio, such as the Black Eyed Peas.

Some St. Thomas students are more than willing to pay a small ticket price to see bigger-name bands.

“I would pay something because it’s a lot cheaper than to go see them at the Target Center or the Xcel Center where it’s like $60 to $100 for a ticket,” senior Katie Peyton said.

Peyton thinks more students will attend the annual fall and spring concerts if widely known bands perform.

“I do think the name of the band affects how many people show up and how popular the band is with a variety of students,” she said.

Senior Katie Koenig agreed.

“I think it would be fine as long as the tickets weren’t regular priced. To see the band, they might pay like $80 to go just in public, and if they could get a discounted ticket, it would be a really good opportunity for students,” she said.

For students such as sophomore Sam Johnson, the name of the band might influence the decision to attend.

“If [the band] was more along the line of something I liked, I probably would go,” Johnson said.

Another reason to charge students for on-campus concert tickets, according to Besser, would be to generate more funds for other campus events.

“Selling tickets may also result in a smaller part of the student activity fee being used for major concerts,” he said, “which means funds could possibly be used for other events or cooperative programming.”

STAR members will make the final decision based on how students react to the idea of purchasing tickets for bigger-name bands performing on campus.

“Overall, STAR just strives to meet the programming needs of the students on campus,” Gustafson said.

Rebecca Omastiak can be reached at

3 Replies to “STAR considers charging for concert tickets, bigger bands”

  1. It’s going to depend on the discount. If instead of having to pay 50$ for a concert at the Target Center, the University charges 40$…. It wont be all that great. But charging up to 10$ for a show on campus seems perfectly reasonable. Of-course they might want to open the selection process up a little bit more. Its fine to see a mediocre band on campus when it doesn’t cost anything, but for example, I wouldn’t have paid to see the Plain White Tees.

  2. I agree that charging up to $10 for a show on campus is completely reasonable. However, I question whether $7,500 to $10,000 in additional funding is sufficient to fill the price gap between a band like the Plain White Tees and the Black Eyed Peas.

  3. I know plenty of schools who can offer bigger name acts and people to come speak/ give concerts without feeling the need to charge their students. Instead of STAR simply providing free t-shirts to go along with every event, maybe that money would be better spent going towards more popular acts. More students would attend the events anyway leading towards a better net effect.

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