Delivering American University's news and views since 1925. | Tuesday, October 16, 2018

SUB $11K over budget after Cee Lo Green show

The Student Union Board exceeded its annual budget by about $11,000 due to changes made just days before the Jan. 14 Cee Lo Green concert, according to Student Government officials.

Green’s agents told SUB two days before the concert they wanted Green’s entire band to perform, contrary to initial plans that only Green would be performing with just a DJ, said SG Vice President Maia Tagami.

Production costs increased for the event because SUB ordered a projector screen, projector and a media server before they knew Green was bringing a band.

SUB called Event Tech, the company that rented out the larger stage and the large visual screen, after business hours to cancel the projection system, but Event Tech could not get back to them in time until after SUB had agreed to have the band play, according to Cornell.

Changes could not be made that close to the show, according to Mike Aug, the vice president of sales and marketing at Event Tech. It was too late to issue a refund.

“At the last minute we scrambled to meet their [Cee Lo Green’s and SUB’s] needs, at which point gear had been prepped and loaded on the truck,” Aug said. “In fact, a lot of it was already being loaded into the venue.”

SUB Director Greg Cornell knew having the band would increase production costs. However, he also determined that cutting other aspects of production, including a large visual screen that Green originally requested, would eventually save SUB money.

Green’s management offered to waive the artist’s fee for the band, says Cornell.

If Green’s agent had given the SG more advance notice of the change, Tagami said, the deficit could have been avoided.

Funds from a special SG fund will be used to offset the $11,000.

There will have to be cuts in SUB’s plans for the rest of the semester to make up for the losses, Tagami said.

Student Activities is now reviewing the SUB’s account balance. Director of Student Activities Karen Gerlach said in e-mail that sudden changes to production costs happen.

These changes are normal in the music production industry and unavoidable, Tagami said.

SUB signed a contract with Green months before the concert. Certain contractual details could not be disclosed due to confidentiality agreements, including how much Cee Lo Green was paid for the performance.

“There was no gross negligence in the spending. There were simply unforeseen costs that could not be avoided,” said Taylor Yeates, the SG budget chairman.

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