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Friday, June 21, 2024
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SA allocates $314,405 for Spring Fest — plus between $100k and $150k for talent

$161.2k allocated to production costs; $82.5k to safety and security

<p>The venue for the 2024 Spring Fest is set up on North Campus.</p>

The venue for the 2024 Spring Fest is set up on North Campus.

The undergraduate Student Association (SA) has allocated $314,405 — aside from artist fees, which the SA has not made public — for expenses for this year’s Spring Fest concert.

The amount of money that is allocated does not necessarily represent the amount SA will actually spend, and typically includes a margin for unexpectedly high costs. 

Among the largest budgeted expenses: 

  • Production — including stage, lighting and sound; communications, and transportation: $161,155
  • Safety and security — including police and ambulance service, security personnel, barricades, wristbands and metal detectors: $82,500
  • Insurance: $25,000
  • Artist hospitality — including catering, “runner services” and artist trailers: $17,000

Other large expenses include $9,000 for T-shirts to give away, $7,500 to rent Alumni Arena, $7,000 for fireworks and $1,500 for portable toilet rental.

SA doesn’t disclose how much it pays its performers, but SA President Becky Paul-Odionhin wrote in an email to the student body in October that booking three artists typically costs between $100,000 and $150,000. She noted artists’ talent fees “can fluctuate.” 

This year’s concert — which will feature JID, Offset and Shenseea — marks the first Fest concert since Sheck Wes, Corday and Lil Yachty performed last spring. 

The SA abruptly canceled 2023’s Fall Fest in late September due to “logistical complications, such as being unable to secure a date for an indoor location.” Paul-Odionhin clarified in an email to the student body eight days later that the SA needed to book Alumni Arena as a backup location in case of inclement weather, but was unable to find a mutually agreeable date with UB Athletics. Paul-Odionhin also wrote that “consistently” rising prices were making the cost of producing Fest “absolutely unsustainable.” 

Paul-Odionhin said during a town hall meeting in November that the $300,000 originally earmarked for Fall Fest to fund Spring Fest, a Comedy Series show, provide supplemental club funding and “miscellaneous” expenses. 

As of publication, the SA has spent none of its $75,000 budget for a Comedy Series show, according to the SA general ledger

The SA operates on an approximately $4.5 million budget that is funded by the $109 mandatory student activity fee

Paul-Odionhin could not be reached in time for publication. 

Sol Hauser is the senior news editor and can be reached at sol.hauser@ubspectrum.com

Grant Ashley is the editor in chief and can be reached at grant.ashley@ubspectrum.com  


GRANT ASHLEY
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Grant Ashley is the editor in chief of The Spectrum. He's also reported for NPR, WBFO, WIVB and The Buffalo News. He enjoys taking long bike rides, baking with his parents’ ingredients and recreating Bob Ross paintings in crayon. He can be found on the platform formerly known as Twitter at @Grantrashley. 

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