UPDATE: University Productions announces Big Sean as QUEST 2015 headliner

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Rapper Big Sean will be performing at Lehigh on April 24, 2015, as part of University Productions' QUEST 2015 concert. (Courtesy of University Productions)

Rapper Big Sean will be performing at Lehigh on April 24, 2015, as part of University Productions’ QUEST 2015 concert. (Courtesy of University Productions)

University Productions has announced rapper Big Sean as the headliner for its QUEST 2015 concert that will be held April 24 at the ArtsQuest Center at SteelStacks.

“Big Sean was at the top of our list from the very beginning,” said University Productions’ president Jonathan Densa, ’16, in an email. “He was available at the right price on the right date and everything fell into place.”

The 26-year-old artist from Detroit has over 6 million Twitter followers and recently released his third studio album, Dark Sky Paradise, on Feb. 24. Sean has collaborated with artists such as Kanye West, Jay Z, Ariana Grande, Drake, John Legend and Lil Wayne.

The QUEST concert is an updated version of Lehigh’s previous spring concert, Sundaze, and saw a successful first year in 2014 with headliners Brillz and Flosstradamus. Over 1,000 students attended last year’s concert.

“A lot will be same from last year, except for what students see on stage and a few more changes,” Densa said.

In order to select a performer, University Productions narrows down a long list of artists to a select few to submit to an agent. After finding out about availability and price, a final decision is made and the offer is sent out. Even then, the offer can be accepted or rejected and sometimes a higher price may need to be offered.

Densa attributed the success of this process and University Productions’ operations to advisers Matt Kitchie and Andrea Barker.

In the past, Lehigh’s spring concert headliners have included The Roots, Ben Folds, Wiz Khalifa and Mac Miller, Slightly Stupid, Sugar Ray and Sol, and Flosstradamus and Brillz.

Sam Gordon, ’15, University Productions’ music executive, coordinates booking the artist, venue, concert production and meets with university and law enforcement officials in order to execute the best show possible.

“Our job is to put a number of viable options in front of our committee members and find the best use of our resources to give the student body a great experience,” Gordon said in an email.

QUEST, according to Gordon, is an opportunity for a change in scenery from the usual nightly activities for students. They can spend time with their friends and get to listen to a great artist, he said.

Minni Kim, ’16, University Productions’ large event director, said Big Sean was originally out of University Productions’ budget, but they were able to work with the agent to find a date that worked. In order to accommodate this cost, University Productions decided to charge for tickets, otherwise an artist as large as Big Sean might not have been possible. Lehigh students will be required to pay $20 for a ticket to the performance.

“Many other schools across the country charge for their spring concerts, and although it has been a privilege for Lehigh students to have a free spring concert, this low ticket price allows us to make the concert much more of an amazing and huge experience that we want our students to have,” Rae Riccardi, ’16, marketing executive of University Productions, said in an email.
Riccardi is in charge of marketing the event to the campus thought social media, paper marketing and word of mouth.
“My goal is to make every student aware of our events, especially for an event as huge as QUEST, and get them excited to attend. After all, the more students we can get at our events every year, the bigger we can make the event for the next year,” Riccardi said.
QUEST is going to be the biggest show University Productions has put on in a while and the organization has been working hard to make sure all of the parts fit together and the night is a success, Kim said.

“We hope that students will recognize that it is not the school that is organizing this event, but a student organization that has worked tirelessly since last summer to make sure we put on a show that everyone will remember as a part of their Lehigh experience,” Kim said.

More details are set to be released in the coming weeks on the Facebook event page.

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