Free concerts deserve greater publicity

An aspect of college life students look forward to is cultural enrichment. For Conquest later this month, Program Board has announced that Cobra Starship will be performing.

Julia Vann | Daily Trojan

Program Board should ensure that these big-ticket events aren’t the only ones getting the attention on campus.

The opportunity to attend concerts organized by USC’s Program Board, Thornton School of Music and various concerts held at venues such as Ground Zero Performance Cafe are numerous at USC.

These types of events, however, aren’t widely publicized to the student body.

As a result, it appears USC does not offer much as far as musical enrichment on campus. In reality, this university is boiling over with talent and free concerts that are often overlooked.

Having more concerts of varying genres is a productive way to bring the student body together.

USC needs to publicize events more often to cultivate and continue to bring students together.

“I only know of one concert that has been put on and that was during Welcome Week,” said Brentley Campbell, a freshman majoring in business administration.

Sadly, many students share this view, and it’s a shame because USC has so much free music to offer.

On Mondays, Ground Zero has open mic nights and, on Thursdays, “Jazz Nights” features musicians from Thornton. These concerts are only really publicized at the cafe.

If you live in don’t visit Ground Zero often, you will most likely miss out on the opportunities the cafe provides for free music.

Moreover, a capella groups regularly perform on campus though they too, are often under-publicized.

As a result of overlooking the multiple music niches around campus, students are sometimes disappointed with the Program Board’s concerts because the headliner doesn’t appeal to everyone.

Tokyo Police Club — the band for this semester’s Welcome Week — was not widely lauded by some students because their genre of music wasn’t exactly the mainstream radio music that many students listen to.

USC should make sure to publicize the events that go on through the year. Everyone can have his or her musical tastes satisfied.

Students could come together in spaces other than the three concerts put on by Program Board to meet new people and enjoy free music.

Only minutes away from the Nokia theatre and Staples Center, this campus is an ideal venue to bring many genres of music to one space to satisfy the varying musical interests of the students.

Yet it’s not enough to bring the music; it has to be noticed. Establishing a monthly newsletter that outlines all of the free concerts occuring on campus would be a wise first step in this direction.

Students don’t take advantage of all the free concerts. The university should seek to satisfy the different music interests on this campus by instead emphasizing the lesser-known concerts.


Karla Chavez is a freshman majoring in business administration. 

Mellissa Linton is a sophomore majoring in English. 

9 replies
  1. GZ fan
    GZ fan says:

    Ground Zero puts flyers around campus, but they don’t have budget or manpower that Program Board does to be having mass amounts of flyers printed and put up all over campus. They have free events every day though!

  2. USC MA '13
    USC MA '13 says:

    I believe there already is an online calendar of on-campus events in place; if you go to USC’s website there is an “Arts and events” calendar.

  3. Max
    Max says:

    Interesting article, and great idea to develop a calendar for all the concert events at school. However, please do your proper research into who puts on which concerts at USC before you. Beyond Program Board, KXSC, Spectrum, and Performance Venues all being separate entities that book separate shows, take a look at what each organization separately does to promote their events before you criticize the entire school for its shortcomings, and the students who put on the shows.

  4. Sachi
    Sachi says:

    KXSC, the USC student radio station, hosts at least one free show a week, but our budget makes it hard to promote more. Let’s work together!

  5. KXSC supporter
    KXSC supporter says:

    As aforementioned above, KXSC, the independent, student-run college radio station, is a great resource for free concerts that was overlooked in this article. KXSC continues to provide an alternative avenue for students to see local (and national) underground acts alongside other bigger acts such as Flying Lotus. At the very least, there is one concert per week as a part of the Live Show, which happens every Friday at Tommy’s Place from 1-2pm. There have been quality acts in general throughout the semester as well. You can find kxsc at

  6. Downtown Lobby
    Downtown Lobby says:

    If you want to put the Programs Board in contact with us, we will be more than happy to help bring shows to the public’s attention. We do have plenty of USC student readers and once word gets out on a site like ours all of the other L.A. blogs follow suit. Hit us up!

  7. USC Alum
    USC Alum says:

    This article should also have included KXSC, the on-campus radio station, as a source for great free on-campus concerts!

  8. Michel'le
    Michel'le says:

    Thank you Karla and Mellissa for writing this article.

    For those reading this article, however, I would like to bring to your attention KXSC Radio, USC’s student-run radio station–an organization that in the past has consistently held FREE concerts throughout the USC community (Tommy’s Place, Ground Zero, Founders Park) and the LA area (Space 1520, Origami Vinyl).

    KXSC (formerly KSCR) has been a part of USC since the mid-1970s. Today, we continue to offer the USC community 24 hour original programming (music, sports and news), FREE concerts and a hands on learning environment for both undergraduate and graduate students.

    For more information about KXSC Radio, please visit,, and

  9. Sydney
    Sydney says:

    Nice article! I completely agree. During my undergrad years at ‘SC I was on concerts committee and even I was unaware of how many great shows were going on throughout the year. A newsletter would be amazing! That way not just students, but local alumni etc, could also get in on the fun and help to support local musicians.

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