The Undergraduate Student Government’s (USG) John Oliver comedy show may have not gone as planned, but the upcoming Spring Concert could be the perfect opportunity to win over the students’ favor.
On Feb. 11, comedians John Oliver and Wyatt Cenac were scheduled to perform for the students of Stony Brook University. However, what wasn’t planned was the 30 inches of snow deposited on Long Island the weekend prior to the show.
When the school announced that all classes and events for that day were canceled, the USG had no choice but to cancel the act and wait to reschedule it for another day.
“Normally the Staller Center acts separately from the University,” PJ Abelein, the chair of the Student Activity Board (SAB), said. “But we made the decision based off the school’s decision to shut down.”
Because of the contract with the performer, the event wasn’t completely canceled and the SAB began looking for new dates to reschedule the performance.
“We were stuck with the situation,” Abelein said. “It was hard to find a date that both Staller and the comedians had available.”
The reason why it took so long for the new date to be announced was solely due to scheduling conflicts. Initially, the new performance was going to be at the end of February, but it turned out that Cenac wouldn’t have been able to make it.
This isn’t the first time this semester that the USG and SAB have had some problems with performances. Lately, what’s going on with the spring concert has been the talk of the campus.
“In the Press’s article about the concert, it talks about the Kendrick Lamar/Steve Aoki tour,” Abelein said. “But it didn’t even express how it wasn’t up to the students and was shut down by the University Police Department (UPD) and the Dean of Students Office.”
Normally the Dean of Students Office doesn’t get involved in deciding the artist for the spring concert, but because it’s going to be such a large scale event in the stadium this year, they did.
Any act that comes to campus whether it’s a musician, comedian or speaker, student opinion is taken into account before SAB makes a decision. When they get an idea for a performer, the SAB has to vote yes for them. They then give the UPD the contact and list other venues where the artist has previously performed. From there, the UPD contacts the previous venues and makes sure bringing the performer to campus would be safe.
“The issues with Steve Aoki were that he had a large number of medical transports from one of his other shows,” Abelein said. “So he failed security check. I think the situation was blown a little bit out of proportion this year.”
According to Abelein, there are currently offers out to other artists for the concert and they’ve been getting feedback on timelines on whether or not an artist can accept. If all works out, they’re hoping to get offers confirmed by next week and make the official announcement in a couple more weeks. No matter when it is announced, the concert will be held on April 25.
“I think we did a pretty good job so far,” Abelein said in terms of USG/SAB programming for this year. “Last semester Reel Big Fish was a highlight, but I think we have real great stuff coming up.”
Abelein also is looking forward to finally seeing the comedy act which has been rescheduled to March 11. The only thing left to worry about is the possibilities of another snow storm happening.
“We’re hoping and praying another storm doesn’t happen.” Abelein said. “If the show were to be canceled again, we’d keep working hard until it was rescheduled.”