PB goes Live with help from outside firm

The Live concert Saturday night marked the first time GW’s Program Board employed a production company to bring talent to the Smith Center.

IMP Productions, a local production company that handles the promotion of the 9:30 Club, teamed up with PB and the Smith Center to attract the nationally recognized music group Live, recently labeled the No. 3 music talent in the country, according to Rolling Stone magazine.

Essentially they rent us and pay for our services, PB Concert Chairman Ian Zeitzer said. Zeitzer said the financial aspect of the concert was negotiated between the Smith Center and IMP.

Smith Center officials declined to comment on the specifics of the contract with IMP.

Zeitzer said PB hopes working with a production company will make GW a more attractive concert venue, able to compete with American University’s Bender Arena and George Mason University’s Patriot Center.

We decided at the end of last year to consult a production company, Zeitzer said. We decided to get in touch with local production companies to bring more shows to the Smith Center.

Seth Weinert, executive vice chair of PB, said the use of a production company has another benefit – cost effectiveness.

By bringing (IMP) in, we forgo the financial role in the concert, Weinert said. We can’t take a loss on the concert. There is no financial burden, and no GW student’s money will be spent on it.

The PB hosted Blues Traveler last year, which resulted in lackluster ticket sales.

Last year a lot of people assumed we lost a lot (with Blues Traveler), Weinert said. But we did not lose money, we subsidized the ticket price. Instead of $25 tickets, we charged $15.

Weinert said, as a result of the concert last year, the PB had to change its budget to cover the cost.

This year’s concert managed to sell out, with 4,200 general admission tickets being bought.

It’s a trial run, but as of right now it’s going very well, Zeitzer said.

Even with the high ticket demand, PB held 500 tickets for students, after the show had sold out to the public.

Yet using the production company had some drawbacks for PB.

Blues Traveler was totally student run from production to planning to hospitality, Weinert said. The downside (with hiring an outside company) is impact.

Weinert said IMP had control of logistics, management, concert promotion and hospitality.

By getting rid of the administrative role, we can do what we do best.to put on a great show, Weinert said.

Despite the large role of IMP, Zeitzer said PB provided a crew of 60 that worked much of Saturday morning through early Sunday morning to assist with the production.

Despite the success of the event, the PB did not profit from Saturday’s concert.

Weinert said at best the Program Board aims to break even for the events on which it spends money.

Our goal is to provide the best possible programming at the lowest possible cost to students, Weinert said.

We’re a student organization, Weinert said. The benefits we get are that students can stay on campus and see high-quality national music and also have the opportunity to see a live show. (Making a profit) is totally against our mission.

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