Behind the scenes with SCOPE
Published: Tuesday, October 22, 2013
Updated: Tuesday, October 22, 2013 02:10
Most students at UNH know the basic details of the Kendrick Lamar concert that will take place on Oct. 24. They know that SCOPE is putting on the show and that it’s taking place at the Whittemore Center. They know the ticket prices, the concert time and they know that Moufy is the opener. Most students don’t know the process behind putting this all together, though, and they don’t know how much time and effort SCOPE puts into pulling off such large-scale show.
WHO TO BRING
The planning for this fall’s concert began during the spring semester when SCOPE, the Student Committee on Popular Entertainment, sent out surveys to the student body to get a feel for which artist they would like to see. After discussing it as a whole, the student organization narrowed it down and decided on whom it wanted to bring. The UNH fall concert was going to be Kid Cudi.
Everything seemed to be running smoothly and the plans were being made. The date was set and SCOPE was just waiting for a final confirmation from Cudi. Unfortunately, though, things fell through. Due to a radius clause, which said that an artist cannot play at two separate venues in a certain time period if those venues are within a certain distance of each other, it couldn’t book him.
“It’s actually pretty common,” Executive Director of SCOPE Bethany Bucciarelli said. “Cudi was our first choice, but it didn’t work out for reasons beyond us.”
Once those plans unraveled, SCOPE was quick to move on to its second choice: Kendrick Lamar. It wasted no time in researching and pursuing him.
“When we found out that Kendrick was just as available, we were more than excited to start that process as well,” SCOPE Publicity Director Hailey Brennan said.
When SCOPE booked Lamar in late July/early August, six days before he dropped the “Control” verse, its timing couldn’t have been better. It took a big risk, and it was one that paid off due to the immense popularity and attention he received for the verse. SCOPE snagged him right before his career really took off.
“In this industry, you’re always taking risks and chances and you hope that it works out and for us, it completely exceeded our expectations,” Brennan said.
Bucciarelli went on to say that at SCOPE, they always say that with great risk comes great reward. She said that SCOPE members always joke about a time several years ago when they were given the opportunity to book a little-known country artist for around $30,000. Never having heard the name Taylor Swift at the time, the organization passed on her and now kicks itself knowing that it missed the chance to bring such a big star. Her price tag is now set at a couple million dollars and SCOPE is nowhere near able to afford her.
HOW TO BOOK AN ARTIST
Bucciarelli remembers exactly what she was doing when she found out that Lamar had officially been booked. It was 9 p.m. on a summer night in Portsmouth when she got the call from SCOPE’s agent.
The agent for the organization for the past 10 years has been James Anderson, and for this show he worked in conjunction with UNH alumnus Josh Body. Anderson is part of One If By Land, a concert production company, and Body is a talent buyer for Bowery Presents.
“It was huge for us that we came here to school and already had our show booked,” Bucciarelli said.
Usually SCOPE doesn’t know who it wants to bring until after the first meeting of the year. Due to its hiatus last year, though, it had extra time to work on this fall’s show. The org was fortunate to come into school with everything booked seeing as it gave it more time to plan and promote.
INFORMING THE PUBLIC
“The biggest thing that we focus on after it’s officially booked is how we want it released to the public,” Brennan said.
SCOPE decided that it wanted to switch it up this year and try to release the concert details in a new way. It released clues about who the artist was as a way to build anticipation and get the campus excited for the concert. Bucciarelli said that SCOPE is a progressive organization and it is always looking for new ways to do things.
SCOPE also goes to a Pulsar conference, where members learn more about becoming a forward-thinking organization.
“It teaches us so much in every single department that we have, whether it’s security, publicity, business or production,” Bucciarelli said. “We’re always learning and improving as a whole so that when we come back we’re not doing the same thing.”
Bucciarelli said that a lot of what SCOPE does is trial and error, but she thinks that this year has been very successful so far, in terms of planning for the show and getting the word out.
THE WEEK BEFORE THE CONCERT
“The biggest thing that changes is the sacrifices,” Bucciarelli said.
She said that the members of the org have to dedicate more and more time to SCOPE in the final week leading up to the show and that the most important thing is to stay focused. Getting the campus excited and pushing for more ticket sales also plays a major role in the last week. The concert isn’t completely sold out, with around 4,600 tickets sold so far and 1,200 still left to sell.
SCOPE is really pushing for outside ticket sales now, as it figures that if students haven’t a bought a ticket by now, then they probably aren’t planning to. The org has been advertising in southern New Hampshire and in the Seacoast area. This past weekend, members even extended the final push down into Boston and hung up posters around the city.