While budget constraints prevented last year’s fall show, this year the Yale College Council has already offered a contract to a potential fall show performer, but YCC President Steven Syverud ’06 said he is keeping the identity of the entertainer under wraps until negotiations are complete.
Syverud said he expects the contract to be finalized some time over the next few days but does not want to release the name of the performer for fear that the YCC would lose bargaining power. The candidate for the Oct. 14 show was selected from a short list of performers obtained from results of a student survey conducted last week on the YaleStation online portal.
Students were allowed to select up to two comedians and up to two musicians from a list that included Bill Maher and Denis Leary in the comedian category and Kings of Leon, Dashboard Confessional and Liz Phair in the music category.
Syverud said 1,600 students, not including members of the Class of 2009, participated in the survey.
“I was surprised by how many people participated,” Syverud said. “It was really helpful to get feedback from so many people.”
The YCC will finance the show with funds generated by the new $50 student activities fee, which students voted for in a referendum last spring. The fall show did not take place last year, and its return this year is just one of several events the YCC hopes to bring back or improve with money from the fee.
The acts listed on the survey cost anywhere from $10,000 to $80,000, Syverud said, adding that the YCC is trying to be “savvy” in its negotiations to lure the most wanted performer for the best price.
“We think we’re going to be able to get one of the top names on the student poll,” said Jackie Carter ’07, chair of the Yale Student Activities Committee.
Carter said a good show could set the tone for the whole year.
“We want to show how this student activities fee has benefited the whole community,” she said.
Student reaction to the proposals for the Fall Show was mixed. Most said they think bringing the show back is a good idea, though their opinions of the artists proposed on the online survey varied.
“The comedians were OK, but the music selection was pretty poor,” said Sean Gandert ’08. “I think the show will be of poor quality, possibly dismal.”
Dustin Cho ’08 said he liked the selection of acts.
“It’s cool that they’re having a Fall Show. It’s definitely more accessible to the majority of students,” Cho said.
After securing an act, the YCC will turn its attention to marketing and production, said Chris Polly of Pretty Polly Productions — a Waltham, Mass., company that is working with the YCC to produce the Fall Show. Production includes setting up lighting and sound systems in Woolsey Hall, where the show will take place. Polly said he does not anticipate any problems in preparing Woolsey Hall for the show.
“Any time you’re indoors in an area that’s designed for performance there are very few concerns,” he said.
Past performers at the fall show include Jimmy Fallon and Darrell Hammond.