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BY COLLEEN RUSH
ICTURE IT: BLOOMINGTON, IND.,
fall 1994. Big Head Todd and the
Monsters are playing IU's 2,500-
seat venue. Opening for the band
is a funny little no-name group
called Hootie and the Blowfish.
Who and the Whatfish?
Ask that question today and you're
likely to elicit some serious stares. But
Brandon O'Leary, director of IU's stu-
dent programming board, knew last
year - when he booked them for less
than $1,000 - he had a winner.
"It's exciting to know we had the
band before they got big," says
O'Leary, a junior. "Six months after
they played IU, they couldn't have
played in our venue. They're too big."
And too expensive. According to
Harris Goldberg, president of Concert
Ideas, the band that once was mistak-
enly referred to as Homey and the
Goldfish is now going for $100,000 to
$150,000 a night.
Imagine what it was like to book the Red Hot
Chili Peppers when alternative was alternative.
Then imagine what it's like to bring Hal and the
Polka Kings to campus for the annual Spring Fling
weekend - hey, who says polka isn't about to make
its big breakthrough?
Just when you thought it was safe to be enter-
tained, college programming boards are at it again.
Programming boards, concert/lecture committees,
campus activity councils - whatever you call 'em -
are the ones who can make or break campus life.
Made up of stu-
dents devoted to the
business of etertain-
boards spend many a
day every semester
tracking bands, speak-
ers and their agents
and bargaining and
booking performers for
the right (or sometimes
all while trying to
gauge who's hot and
who's not on the col-
"Prosiding the best
entertainment at a
price students can
afford, knowing I had
a part in helping 4,000
people forget about
everything but having
fun for two hours -
that's what it's all
about," says Ron
Opaleski, a senior at
the U. of Florida and
chair of Student Gov-
"I got that feeling
looking out at Natalie
Merchant, just watch-
ing the crowd have a
But it's not all love
and glory for the stu-
dents who bring names
like Ross Perot, Dan
Quayle and, um, Barry
Williams (a.k.a. Greg
Brady) to campus.
First, there's the money
school's concert or lec- Natalie Merchan
ture budget (usually a this year - mayb
flat rate or percentage of student activities fees) may
not be the sole factor in who it can get, but it sure
With a whopping $100,000 to dish out, Reid
Cox, co-director of the lectures committee at IU,
snagged Spike Lee, William F. Buckley and Kurt
Vonnegut Jr. last year. P.J. O'Rourke and Ralph
Nader highlight this year's guest list.
"It's also who will give us a good deal," says
Adrienne Bradley, a programming assistant and
grad student at Western Michigan U. "That's defi-
nitely a consideration when you're dealing with stu-
dent money and trying to be conservative."
il-s YOEur LITE.
SHOT IT OR L0l E IT.
Students with a taste for music like their G. Love
with Special Sauce.
i rakes ner -Carnival" on the road
'e to a college near you.
14 U. M agazinae * December 1995