Nelly to headline spring concert

By Susan Doucet
On March 18, 2014

As students returned to classes Monday after the end of spring break, they were greeted with by a long-awaited announcement from the Student Committee on Popular Entertainment.

SCOPE announced Nelly as the headliner for the spring climax concert via a video on a Facebook event page created Sunday afternoon.

The video, put on Facebook minutes after noon, read: "Get ready to relive your glory days. SCOPE presents ... the much anticipated spring climax ... Nelly."

"We hope students are really receptive to the show. It's a wonderful show," Bethany Bucciarelli, executive director of SCOPE, said. "We do want to focus on the fact that he did release an album in 2013 and it's awesome. ... It's a great album. I think this show's gonna be a really cool mix of stuff we listened to growing up and his new stuff, too."

The show is scheduled for Thursday, April 17 at the Whittemore Center Arena; doors will open at 7 p.m. and the show will start at 8 p.m.

"It's a throwback Thursday, which is great," Bucciarelli added.

Tickets will go on sale next week on Wednesday, March 26 at in the Memorial Union Building; student floor tickets will be $25, student bowl tickets will be $15, public floor tickets will be $40, and public bowl tickets will be $30.

The most recent show that SCOPE brought to UNH was Kendrick Lamar at the Whittemore Center in October. 

"Same prices as Kendrick; [we're] trying to keep it consistent," Bucciarelli said. "The industry is progressing, so we have to progress with it, so that's why ticket prices are where they are. ... But they're very appropriately priced and they're subsidized based on normal ticket prices."

Last month, members of SCOPE told The New Hampshire that they hoped to bring two or three shows to UNH this spring. Now, they are saying that this is no longer a possibility for this semester.

"Initially that was our goal; not anymore. Because of the amount of money that we were approved of, it's not fiscally or financially a possibility, unfortunately," Bucciarelli said.

Bucciarelli said that there were many factors that contributed to the organization's decision to book Nelly as the spring climax concert, explaining that the members of SCOPE brainstorm ideas based off of the results of surveys.

"Nelly's kind of someone we always discussed, and this just seemed like the most appropriate time to bring him. We did a comeback show in the fall, and then given what we were allowed to do this semester, this was our best opportunity," she said. "We had a couple different ideas floating around and given the circumstances that we were given, this was the show that made the most sense, and that we felt would please the largest cross-section of sticking with our mission."

Hailey Brennan, publicity director for SCOPE, acknowledged that many students were hoping for a country concert this spring.

"We aren't leaving out the country fans. We really wanted to do something with that but we were not able too because of the industry, and because of the fact that with country, it's either a very, very small artist and no one really knows and they're super cheap, or it's a humongous artist that everybody knows and they are absolutely ridiculously expensive," Brennan said. "So it's kind of like trying to find that happy medium and we wanted to give them the best opportunity, and this semester was not the time for them to really thrive."

An opening act has yet to be determined, but is a current project for SCOPE. 

"The beautiful thing about Nelly is he can be paired with almost anyone. ... Could be a surprise," Bucciarelli said.

"We'll be discussing it tonight," she said on Monday. "We hope to have that announced as soon as possible. We're working with our agents on that and hope to get you guys that information soon."

"It will not be Florida Georgia Line," said business manager Dan Gravina.

"We do want the students to know that we have been working around the clock, all day every day it seems like, to provide them with the best concert entertainment around and we will continue to do that. And like they said, very soon we will be starting to brainstorm for the fall, and hopefully have at least one show booked by the summertime," Gravina said.

"It's gonna be an amazing show. The energy's gonna be huge. Nelly puts on a wonderful performance. I think it's gonna be an absolutely awesome show," Bucciarelli said.


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