Skidmore's Student Entertainment Committee (SEC) funds, organizes, and hosts a musical act every year to perform for the student body at our annual Big Show. There is always a significant amount of debate surrounding the event and choice of performer. In past years, SEC has brought us the Dirty Projectors, Danny Brown, Action Bronson, Dead Prez, and Mayer Hawthorne. Since the announcement of Chance the Rapper as this year's Big Show performer, the student community has voiced strong opinions, both positive and negative, about the choice of the prominent rap artist. The Editorial Board would like to take a step back from the heated debate and recognize the positive community aspect of the Big Show.
Big Show enjoys one of the highest turnout rates of the year, regardless of the performer. This year, SEC planned to sell just under 2000 tickets. As a point of comparison: Gannett Auditorium, frequently half-filled when we host distinguished lecturers, seats 271. At a school where sports games, lectures, and student performances frequently struggle to draw a big crowd, it is nice to have an event that students will turn out for. When all of your friends and classmates are purchasing tickets, it is hard to resist the urge to plan to attend. Even those people who complain about the choice of performer will likely show up. Rarely does Skidmore host an event attended by the majority of the student body. There is an energy and excitement to standing in a crowd with your classmates, and to be able to discuss it with everyone in the following week.
Like any event, there are components that could be improved. Maybe it would be advantageous to have a widely-publicized vote within the campus community to select the top choices for Big Show performers. But with such a diverse community represented at Skidmore, settling on a single artist that appeals to everyone is nearly impossible The budget for Big Show is enormous, disproportionately larger than what it costs to bring other big name speakers or performers. We could question whether we want to spend this huge sum on one event or break it up to bring several different performers who may appeal to a wider variety of musical tastes.
There are several other aspects of the Big Show that could be improved, too. SGA has planned an excellent Oktoberfest weekend, including a Big Show after-party at Harvey's, but there is no post-show event for those under 21. Furthermore, the event was not widely publicized-- it was primarily word-of-mouth. Getting the word out about this great event, with more flyers and posters, would help build hype on campus before Saturday.
At the end of the day, there will never be a consensus about the performer and no event is flawless. Chance is a huge name and should put on a great show. Big Show is a chance to see your community assembled in one place and party with your peers. We're looking forward to it.