Although the Yale College Council will likely still lose money on this year’s Fall Show even with added revenue from the new student activities fee, the YCC already has outpaced ticket sales for the last Fall Show, held two years ago, YCC officers said.
The YCC sold approximately 1,300 tickets for the Fall Show as of Thursday evening and about 300 tickets have been sold within the past day, but the council will have to double its total ticket sales for the show to sell out, as it did when Jimmy Fallon took the stage three years ago, YCC officers said. Last year, the YCC did not organize a show due to lack of funding.
Tonight’s show, which will feature comedians Ed Helms of “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart” and Horatio Sanz of “Saturday Night Live,” is costing the YCC $35,000 in comparison to the $25,000 spent on the Hammond show in 2003, YCC Treasurer Emery Choi ’07 said.
YCC Vice-President Marissa Brittenham ’07 said the organization is spending more money on this year’s event in order to attract better acts and take advantage of the funds provided by the optional $50 student activities fee instituted this year. She said the YCC normally loses a significant amount of money on the Fall Show, which proved a substantial financial setback in previous years without the extra money to help cover the cost. “Thanks to the student activities fee, we’ve been able to not only sign the winner of the poll that went out this summer, but another performer who did really well,” Choi said. “We really felt like we owed it to the Yale community to put on a great Fall Show, so we went ahead and got both.”
Current ticket sales will cover approximately 56 percent of the total cost, although Syverud said he expects to sell many more tckets at the door. The remaining expenses will be covered by the fee, which raised approximately $164,000.
About 37 percent of the student body opted not to pay the fee this year — resulting in revenues about 24 percent lower than the YCC predicted — but the council still had enough money to partially subsidize the event and keep the ticket price at the 2003 level of $15, Choi said.
For security measures, two Yale police officers and three security guards will be at the show and EMTs will be standing by in case of emergency, Syverud said. The guards will be checking bags at the door before the show, he said.
YCC and YSAC encouraged the residential colleges and other groups on campus to schedule parties before and after the event in order to increase both interest and attendance, YSAC representative Jessica Nachman ’07 said.
“We tried to make it different this year in [terms of] the hype around the show by doing pre-parties and post-parties,” she said. “We are trying to make it more of an … all night event.”
Carter said several residential colleges will be holding pre-show happy hours and certain party suites will be throwing after-parties. She declined to say which colleges are throwing parties because the events are intended for residents of the host-colleges and their guests.
Many students who have already purchased tickets said they are excited about this year’s performers, especially Helms, the winner of the online poll conducted by the YCC this summer.
“I’m surprised tickets haven’t sold out,” Phil Burkhard ’08 said. “I’m not as big of a fan [of Sanz], but I hear he’s hilarious.”
Other students said they are not going to the Fall Show, citing a lack of interest in the acts and the high ticket price as reasons.
“It’s kind of expensive,” Kristen Windmuller ’08 said. “Fifteen dollars … that’s a night out in New Haven.”
Two student improvisation groups, Just Add Water and the Exit Players, are scheduled to open for the comedians. During the pre-show, which starts in Woolsey Hall at 8 p.m., the doors will be closed in order to allow the groups to “work the audience,” Yale Student Activities Committee chair Jackie Carter ’07 said. The doors will reopen at 8:45 after the pre-show is finished.
Helms will take the stage at 8:50 and will be followed by Sanz and his comedy troupe at 9:30. The show is slated to finish around 10:15.