USC Concerts Committee’s Springfest and the Black Student Assembly’s Gearfest, two annual festivals known for their artistic flair, will be held together on April 6 to save overall costs for both events.
The two events, funded through Program Board’s student-programming fees and sponsorships, traditionally have been held separately in McCarthy Quad. Last semester, the Concerts Committee and the BSA began planning the event in conjunction.
“It’s all about being able to execute the show in the best way possible without having a huge budget,” said Lamar Gary, the executive director of BSA.
Gary said that if the two events were held separately, each organization would have to pay the full price for their event.
The executive director of Concerts Committee Bryan Leong said the university’s new security policies factored into the combination of the two festivals. The administration now requires attendees to a university-sponsored event to present USC identification and security is necessary at events that last after 9 p.m.
“The price of security is at least 30-40 percent higher than usual,” Leong said. “We have to pay for the security — such as DPS and CSC officers, fencing and barricades — and the cost of tearing down the stage the day after.”
Leong said that in past years, Concerts Committee could have the stage struck down the same night after the festival. Yet the implementation of the university’s stricter security policies have made that more difficult.
Though recognizing that security did increase the cost of the event, Gary does not attribute the consolidation of both festivals to the new security policies.
“Both agreed that we want each show to have its own identity while bringing a festival vibe to USC,” Gary said.
Leong said the collaboration had financial benefits as well.
“We definitely would love to see more collaboration,” Leong said. “It would help out because production costs would be cheaper.”
Springfest is a free all-day music festival open to students, faculty and staff. Gearfest is a fashion show created to promote new designers and features student and professional models, according to BSA’s website.
Both events will still retain their original names. Program Board, however, is marketing the event with Gearfest as a component of Springfest, Leong said.
Leong believes the collaboration will be beneficial to both organizations and will enhance the overall event.
“By sharing stages and production costs, we can attract a much better day attendance, which we haven’t gotten in past years,” Leong said. “In the same way, we can take Gearfest to the next level and can get them a much bigger headliner.”
Some students said this combination shows that Concerts Committee and BSA are being financially conscious.
“With the increase in security, it’s understandable that they would schedule them both together to save money,” said Myles Nuzzi, a freshman majoring in vocal jazz. “I’m happy that the Program Board is doing its best to use its budget efficiently.”
Nuzzi also said that scheduling both events together would add to, rather than detract from, each event.
“It’s going to be exciting to see them both come together,” Nuzzi said. “For people that are too busy to attend both events, this will give them a chance to experience them both at the same time.”
Other students also said the combination will make more students aware of Gearfest.
“I personally am not familiar with Gearfest, so although I’m sure there are many other USC students who are familiar with it, it will bring a lot more awareness to that event,” said Shelby DeWeese, a sophomore majoring in narrative studies and creative writing.
Sam Couch, a junior majoring in computer science, agrees.
“I don’t think Gearfest has had much promotion in the past, so combining with Springfest will help get the word out and get better acts for everyone to enjoy rather than two separate events,” Couch said.
Leong said the lineup will be announced March 29. Past festivals have had Wolfgang Gartner, Mos Def and Blink-182 as headliners.
Both Leong and Gary believe combining these two festivals in the future would be beneficial, but Gary noted it is not a definite arrangement.
“I would say that it really depends on the direction of new leadership,” Gary said. “If they feel like they want it and like the type of show we put together, they may want to keep it combined.”
Nick Cimarusti, Yasmeen Serhan and Chelsea Stone contributed to this report.