How Do Artists Like Chance the Rapper Come to Skidmore?
Photo credit Lively Lucy’s
Have you ever wondered how Skidmore actually gets artists like Chance the Rapper, Earl Sweatshirt and Caroline Rose to perform on campus? To find out, Skidmore News went straight to the experts for answers. Lively Lucy’s president Brendan Wright ’20 and Student Entertainment Committee’s (SEC) president Evelyn Wang ‘20 explained — and addressed the differences in —how they each get musicians to campus.
Lively Lucy’s, a music-focused club on campus, holds events each week for the student body, but they also occasionally bring in artists for guest appearances. Wright explained how Lively’s is just a “group of people who book entertainment and plan events in Fallstaffs.”
Lively’s offers people the chance to get up and perform music, poetry, dance or anything else they may be into every Thursday night for their Open Mic. This event gives students a place to showcase themselves and their art. This is something unique to Lively’s on Skidmore’s campus: a small group able to put on weekly events.
Wright explained how Lively’s brings in smaller-name artists, primarily because this is “what is most accessible to students,” a key difference in the club’s methods for booking artists compared to SEC.
Wright also talked about how Lively’s likes getting “local bands that are not really out there yet, because a lot of the times people come in and say, ‘I have this band, it’s one of my friends from high school,’ and they think it would be cool to bring that to Skidmore.”
When asked how he managed to bring Caroline Rose to campus, Wright remembers how, when home for the summer, he felt pressure to make the first event of the school year the best it could be as a new president. The rest of the Lively’s members were throwing around names until someone mentioned Caroline Rose, how she was making her way through the music industry and how she was starting to gain a lot of popularity. Wright then emailed her booking agent to start talking and negotiating prices, as well as expressing the clubs’ interest in bringing in someone to perform who was not too mainstream in popularity. Her team liked the idea and agreed to appear on campus.
Although Rose was not too well-known, she was still out of Lively’s price range, so they enlisted the help of SEC. Wright went on to say that “one of the biggest differences between SEC as a club and Lively’s as a club is, financially, they have a bigger budget than we do,” which is one of the main reasons SEC can bring in more well-known people to perform.
The basis of SEC is to “serve the Skidmore community and bring entertainment that will satisfy our fellow students,” said Wang. She also noted how this meant “bringing a variety of acts and a variety of genres and keeping a relationship with the community so we know who they want to see perform at Skidmore.”
Due to their greater budget and large campus presence, SEC is a bit more equipped to book bigger-name artists than Lively’s is.
“In the case of Big Show—where we have previously booked artists such as Chance the Rapper and Earl Sweatshirt—we have our own agent that reaches out to other booking agents,” explained Wang. She additionally noted how they also get help from Tory Atkins, Assistant Director of Campus Life and Engagement, to help with offers and contracts.
When deciding who to bring to campus, SEC will base their decisions on two main factors: community response and interest, as well as the type of music they have already brought to campus that year. According to Evelyn, “If we are bringing artists that are mostly hip-hop, we would try to bring an indie or rock artist for the next show, and maybe an electronic artist for the one after that.”
She also said that a lot of times people recommend artists that are very well-known, which becomes hard when the committee does not have a budget big enough for them. Instead, they will then try to find other smaller artists similar to their genre.
Other than differences in budget sizes, SEC differs from Lively Lucy’s because “SEC puts on two Falstaff's shows a semester, besides Big Show, Earth Day and the Tang show.” Putting on fewer shows overall allows SEC to have shows with bigger, more expensive artists, whereas Lively’s can put on more frequent shows throughout the year with smaller artists and local bands who don’t cost as much.
Regardless of how much money one group has compared to the other, or how well-known the featured artists may be, both Lively’s and SEC do a tremendous job in hosting entertaining events for the student body, and here’s hoping for more collaborations between the two in the future.
Look out for more events coming up from both groups by following SEC and Lively Lucy’s on Instagram (@skidmore_sec & @livelylucys) and on Facebook at ‘Skidmore SEC’ and ‘Lively Lucy’s Official.’ And don’t forget about Big Show happening on October 12. Tickets now on sale in Case Center: $8 for Skidmore students, $20 for non-students.