Concert ticket distribution raises concerns about HP promotions

According to a poll conducted by The Miami Hurricane, most students believe that Hurricane Productions (HP) brought a fiasco to campus a little too early.

Some students began lining up for Homecoming concert tickets to see Lupe Fiasco as early as 6:30 a.m. on Oct. 1, the day HP began distribution. HP ran out of the approximately 2,000 floor tickets by 2:30 p.m. that same day.

But many students didn’t join the queue until later that day, once they heard about the ongoing ticket distribution.

According to The Miami Hurricane’s poll, 80 percent of students did not know that distribution began on Monday. The poll opened Friday afternoon, and 83 students participated.

Junior Sofia Fiat only heard through a friend that HP was issuing tickets. She was disappointed that they had run out of floor tickets by the time she heard about distribution.

“I am a busy commuter student who isn’t on campus often, and I would have been upset if I missed the opportunity to pick up a ticket,” she said. “I would have expected an email about the concert or a better effort promoting the event.”

The concert, sponsored by HP, will take place at 10 p.m. on Oct. 19 in the BankUnited Center (BUC).

Senior Julian Malagon, the HP Concerts chair, does not understand how students could have missed HP’s promotional material.

“Where are you guys?” he said.

Senior Tanner Simkins, the chair of Hurricane Productions, believes HP’s efforts have been more than sufficient.

“We’ve had it planned, as far as marketing and promotions go, for months,” he said. “It just comes down to the fact that some students aren’t as tuned into on-campus activities as others.”

Although HP didn’t create a Facebook event – to avoid spreading the word beyond the UM community, according to Malagon – HP’s efforts have included promotions through its Facebook and Twitter pages, website, and posters located in the UC and every residential college.

However, some students still aren’t convinced.

“Last year, I knew about Ludacris performing at Homecoming, and this year they have not done an efficient and successful job compared to previous years,” Fiat said.

Sophomore Tahreem Hashmi said she received email reminders with information about ticket distribution for the Ludacris concert last year. This year, she only noticed the ticketing information on the Lupe Fiasco posters after she had already received the news from friends. She found out at 4:30 p.m. Monday and had to wait until Tuesday to pick them up.

“In general, I feel like I know less about what is happening on campus,” she said.

Other students, like sophomore Danielle Ellis, have not experienced a problem.

“I picked mine up on the second. It took about two minutes,” she said. “Easy peasy lemon squeezy.”

HP implemented the ticket distribution system for the Homecoming concert for the first time last year. Previously, they did not require tickets for entry.

Last year, the decision to begin distributing tickets for the Ludacris concert was based on considerations about BUC logistics, and being able to regulate seating. Ticketing also allows HP to give students, faculty, staff and alumni priority.

“It’s a fire code issue if we don’t distribute tickets,” said Joshua Brandfon, associate director of the Office of Student Activities and Student Organizations, after first developing the system. “It’d be harder to know how many people we’d be letting into the concert.”

This year, the biggest change was charging $10 for alumni tickets.

Simkins also believes HP has focused more on engaging students.

“This is my fourth year at Hurricane Productions and I’ve been involved in every Homecoming concert, and we have the most involvement this year,” he said.

Simkins considers students’ lack of awareness a problem that exists across campus organizations.

“I think whether it’s the Homecoming concert or whether it’s your local club meeting, there are going to be certain students that fall through the cracks,” Simkins said. “But we really try to prevent that.”

Students with a Cane Card can begin picking up guest passes on Monday. Guest passes are intended for students who may have been unable to pick up their tickets last week.

“In all honesty, the chances of people giving them to people who are non-UM students is very likely, but there’s only so much we can do to control that,” Malagon said.

Additionally, 500 tickets are available for faculty and staff, and distribution of these tickets began on Thursday.