Georgia Tech’s annual Student Appreciation Day in April, more commonly known as Sting Break, has been the stage for renowned bands and artists such as Ludacris, T.I and OK Go, with the concerts capping off a day full of carnival rides, food and games. But what sort of decisions go into planning such a celebrated day of festivities?
At the center of planning Sting Break is Jonathan Duke, IE ’02, and Chloe Stewart, third year STaC, who both work for the Student Center Programs Board (SCPB). This year, an initial survey was sent out to the student body for their feedback on a number of questions regarding their opinions of Sting Break. These questions involved asking if students lived on campus or not, their year and, more importantly, perhaps, their preferred genre of musical artists.
An overwhelming number of students chose the rock and roll genre as their choice, with 94 percent willing to attend a concert in that genre compared to the pop genre, at 81 percent.
As of this past Friday, the SCPB released a follow-up survey to ask students which artists they would most like to see at Sting Break 2009 within that particular genre. After the survey concludes, the Programs Board will contact the agent of the favorite band or artist to make an offer on the concert. If the band or artist agrees to play at Sting Break, then the results of the survey would be disclosed to the student body in an announcement.
In previous years, the SCPB released just one survey to determine the student body’s choice of music for the concert. “Our original survey had multiple genres on it, and we found that if we narrow it down to one genre, it’s easier to get the most favorable band. [This is] because a lot of the times if you have more than one genre, your survey results are very spread out between the two genres. It’s hard to please everyone if you do it that way,” Stewart said. “Another thing we did this year differently than we did last year was that we started a lot earlier, and that way we can go ahead and start getting funding from SGA and other campus organizations…which gives us a better chance of getting our top choice bands.”
After the results of the initial survey were counted to narrow down the preferred musical genre, the SCPB worked on making a varied list of artists and bands for the student body to choose from in the follow-up survey. “The artists reflect the top 20 bands suggested by the agencies and selected by the Concert Committee. We called most of the top agencies (William Morris, Creative Artists, Paradigm, etc.) and told them we were looking for bands available in the spring, within our price range, and in the rock genre. They provided a list; we initially had over 45 bands on the list. The concert committee discussed the bands and the appeal the bands would have to the Tech community. The list was narrowed to 20 bands,” Duke said.
Another factor in determining the band/artist for Sting Break is how much students are willing to pay for the concert, as the SCPB takes the results from the initial survey into account. Ideally the concert would be free to students as it has been in the past two years, but the SCPB states that the students’ choice of artist and their availability will affect that decision.
Top 20 bands featured on the Student Center Programs Council list for this year’s Sting Break include:
Third Eye Blind
Jimmy Eat World
Gym Class Heroes
Panic at the Disco
Kings of Leon
Fall Out Boy