Motivated student brings popular DJ Duo to Lehigh

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The Monster Energy Up & Up Festival is bringing Two Friends, a DJ-producer duo, to Lehigh in November. The concert will be held near the campus at The Sands Event Center.

The Up & Up College Festival Series is a competition different than other ones in the music industry, as it is a presale that demands hard work and dedication from one student representative. Erik DiGirolamo, ’20, was the Lehigh student representative.

Each student participant is given a short time period to promote and build demand for the concert. According to the festival website, this culminates in a 48-hour period where students get the chance to pre-order tickets to the concert. Any university in the nation can apply to enter the competition.

The top five universities that purchase the most tickets within the 48-hour window get to host concerts at their schools. Lehigh came in third with the help of DiGirolamo’s dedication.  

DiGirolamo found an advertisement for the festival on Instagram and nominated Lehigh to enter the competition. 

He began promoting the concert through a Facebook event page, and as the date to purchase tickets got closer, he began to text people individually. An Allentown native, DiGirolamo was able to garner excitement from friends at nearby colleges, including Lafayette and Muhlenberg.

DiGirolamo said word of mouth was a major component in his initiative, but social media also played a large part in promoting the competition.

“I think it’s cool to see how much power one student has with social media,” Julia Adamson, ’20, who was sent the link to purchase tickets from her friend, said.

Tickets were priced at $22, but student’s credit cards weren’t charged unless their school won.

“It was essentially a no-risk pre-order,” DiGirolamo said. 

DiGirolamo said students get little help from Up & Up Productions and must foster their marketing and advertising skills by spreading the word to their peers using social media platforms. The festival is changing the mainstream concert dynamic by letting students take charge and spread the word. 

“The competition lets the student know how much actually goes into planning a concert,” DiGirolamo said. “Even though (Lehigh) won, it’s hard (to) find a venue and plan the dates. People don’t realize how much really goes into the process.”

This is Up & Up’s second year of successfully bringing rising artists to five college campuses based on student-ambassador success. In previous years, the headliners were artists Gryffin and Alan Walker. 

Emily Preble, ’20, helped DiGirolamo share information about the event. As a Lehigh softball player, she helped pass the word along to her teammates. 

“I think the concept is interesting,” Preble said. “I think it’s definitely a bold strategy because it put a lot of pressure on (DiGirolamo) but if there was one guy that had to do it, it would’ve been him. It’s a lot of mobilizing power that one student would have to employ, and I think he did a great job.”

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