Get Ready for Some Good Vibes… and a Great Screenshot

It has been quite a successful first semester for the introduction of RUPA’s Live Vibes: Rutgers in the Spotlight Coffeehouse.  Each month, the coffeehouse successfully drew in a crowd ready to jam out to awesome student musicians and local bands while munching on some goodies (how can you turn down a free brownie?!).  Next semester, RUPA will be continuing the Live Vibes Coffeehouse series, and you bet there will still be free mugs (having an event without any free stuff is a travesty… I mean who would go to that?)!  Our first Live Vibes Coffeehouse of the Spring semester will be on Tuesday, January 21st; might as well jam out to people playing guitars before the semester starts playing you.

To celebrate the success of the Live Vibes Coffeehouse series, here’s a short recap video from the November Live Vibes Coffeehouse I organized.  Also, I figured you would need some comic relief after  stressful week of finals, so enjoy that beautiful screenshot:

Stay tuned,

Roxanne

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“Can you bring Beyoncé to Rutgers?!”

I get asked some variation of this question at almost every Concerts & Coffeehouses event we have.  Although I do love my girl B, she probably won’t be visiting anytime soon.  Though it would be easier to get annoyed and give an eye-roll, I see where everyone is coming from; the process of picking and booking artists to come to Rutgers is not common knowledge, so I’ll break it down into simple steps.

Step 1: The Concerts & Coffeehouses committee of RUPA (there’s 7 of us, including myself) sits down and starts from nothing- literally nothing.  We go over what genres we have recently hit, and what audiences we haven’t reached yet.  For example, it has been a whole year since we’ve hit the Hip Hop/Rap audience (Childish Gambino came last year for our State Theatre show), so for our Fall State Theatre show, we brought Hip Hop back courtesy of Joey Bada$$, A$AP Rocky, and Ab-Soul.

Step 2: After establishing a genre, we think of all sorts of artists in that category.  The only stipulation with this step is that we have to keep in mind our budget for that specific show.  That means, they should be well-known, but not insanely expensive.  Keep in mind that we have to account for other aspects of the show in our budget (i.e., security, production, etc.).  Actually, production for our RAC show last year with Alesso was insanely expensive, so we definitely have to keep that in mind as we plan for our big Spring 2014 concert.

Source: Rutgers Student Life Facebook; Swedish DJ Alesso at RUPA's Beats on the Banks last year.

Source: Rutgers Student Life Facebook; Swedish DJ Alesso at RUPA’s Beats on the Banks last year.

Step 3: After picking several possible artists, we get price quotes and availabilities for each person/band through our source.  We are also able to see estimated prices for selected artists through a website we use, but not all artists are listed on there.

Step 4: When we start to narrow it down and get really serious about an artist, we call for references.  Basically, you call other similar schools and/or venues in which the artist performed at.  We have a list of questions we ask the school or venue, depending on the artist.  But general questions include: “Can you describe the facility where ______ performed?” “Was the show closed to your university community or was the general public allowed to attend?” “What kind of security was present? Student or professional?”  These references help a lot with our decision.

Step 5: After much debate between the committee, we pick a number of artists for all the different shows we have.  Aside from our BIG concerts, we also have smaller-scale shows usually held in the Multipurpose Rooms of a designated student center (i.e., our Mayday Parade show at the Livingston Student Center MPR).  Each committee member becomes the “point person” for the event they feel strongly about.

Source: Rutgers Student Life Facebook; Mayday Parade performing in the LSC MPR.

Source: Rutgers Student Life Facebook; Mayday Parade performing in the LSC MPR.

Step 6: We fill out a proposal form that contains details from estimated costs for everything  to why they should come to RU.

Step 7: We present these proposals to RUPA as a whole during our designated “proposal day,” when each committee presents their proposals.  RUPA members then fire any questions or concerns they may have about the event.  We actually had our Spring proposal meeting last night!  We’ve got some big things planned for the Spring!

Step 8: If all is well, we move on to book them through our source and the artist’s agent.  Contracts get signed, riders get sent.

As you can see, it’s a pretty lengthy process.  Also, because we are required to have several concerts during the year, we have to spread our budget accordingly to accommodate all events.  Like I just mentioned, we have just proposed all the events to all of council, including the advisers (who are professional workers, non-students).

After understanding the process behind everything, hopefully it becomes clear why Beyoncé probably won’t be at RU anytime soon.  Besides, she’s probably busy chasing Blue around anyway.

Stay tuned,

Roxanne

November Live Vibes: Rutgers in the Spotlight Coffeehouse

Only 2 more days until the Live Vibes Coffeehouse event I am spearheading!  At this month’s coffeehouse, come check out Kristian Del Rosario, Mike Skriloff, Rebecca Emont, & musical duo From A to Z!  Stop by the Livingston Student Center Coffeehouse (right by Dunkin’ Donuts) at 8 PM for some live music, free food, and a free RUPA mug.

Source: RUPA Rutgers Facebook; Come check out some live music and experience some good vibes!

Source: RUPA Rutgers Facebook; Come check out some live music and experience some good vibes!

As of right now, all the artists have been booked, and I currently await each artist’s signed Standard Service Agreement (aka contract), which includes a timeline of the night’s events and a set of provisions that the performer must follow.  I’ve already made a detailed Date of Show Timeline (“DOS Timeline”) that lists everything from exactly what time catering should arrive to how long each artist’s set should be.  I’ve also already placed the order for catering.  Basically, the only things left to do is transport things, like the RUPA mugs and Step and Repeat backdrop that will be placed behind the artists as they perform.

Needless to say, I am very excited and anxious to see how this month’s Live Vibes Coffeehouse will turn out!

Stay tuned,

Roxanne

Good Vibes

Just last night was RUPA’s very first Live VIbes: Rutgers in the Spotlight Coffeehouse!  Last night at 8 PM, good vibes escaped The Cove, located inside the Busch Campus Center, all thanks to our Live Vibes Coffeehouse event.

“Live Vibes” is similar to an open mic night, except that the acts are already previously booked.  Talented Rutgers students submit an entry form (basically an application) in hopes of being picked to headline one of our Coffeehouses.  For each Coffeehouse (there’s one every month), a Concerts & Coffeehouses committee member will choose about 4 to 5 acts for his/her own designated Coffeehouse date (we each get one).  Lauren was this month’s Live Vibes point person, so she picked 4 lucky RU students to showcase their talent.

My Coffeehouse is the next one on Tuesday, November 5th at the Livingston Student Center.  I am currently in the midst of booking students to perform.  It’s been crazy and hectic, but so far I’ve confirmed 2 student acts.  Just the other day, I had an events meeting with an LSC adviser to go over the details of the event (for example, how many mics will be needed, what speakers will be provided, etc.).  Next on my agenda is to confirm 2 other acts, make a Day of Show (DOS) Timeline with specific set times and arrivals, and order catering because how can you have a coffeehouse without any free food?

Source: RUPA Facebook; Live Vibes Coffeehouse digital flyer

Source: RUPA Facebook; Live Vibes Coffeehouse digital flyer

Who doesn’t love FREE stuff?  In an attempt to attract more Live Vibes attendees while also branding RUPA, I had RUPA mugs ordered to be handed out to the first 75 attendees.  Originally, I was going to order personalize RUPA guitar picks to advertise the Coffeehouse, but in the end mugs seemed more practical.  Though I was initially worried that there wouldn’t even be 75 people to give mugs to, we ran out almost immediately!

Speaking more on advertising and branding, RUPA also had a “street team,” which is basically guerrilla marketing, to further promote Live Vibes.  Though it took a few weeks of brainstorming creative ideas that would attract students to our RUPA table, we finally decided on having students who submitted Live Vibe entry forms perform acoustically while we gave out RUPA goody bags filled with biscotti, a RUPA pen, RUPA magnet, and RUPA chip clip with a Live Vibes Coffeehouse quarter sheet advertisement attached to the outside (how many times can you say RUPA in one sentence?).  You walk away from the table not only knowing about the promoted event thanks to the quarter sheet flyer, but an hour later when you’re wondering what the hell you grabbed earlier, you’re reminded that the event is thanks to RUPA due to the assorted branded goodies inside the bag.  This was the perfect way of combining both promoting and branding; in other words, we successfully killed two birds with one stone.

Source: RUPA Instagram; The 4 headliners of the Oct. Live Vibes Coffeehouse and the infamous RUPA mug.

Source: RUPA Instagram; The 4 headliners of the Oct. Live Vibes Coffeehouse and the infamous RUPA mug.

At the end of the day, not only did I experience a marketing success, but also a good cup of hot chocolate with some great music.

Stay tuned,

Roxanne

Countdown to Beats on the Banks

There’s exactly less than 10 hours left until set-up for Beats on the Banks (RUPA’s now annual concert series) ft. Joey Bada$$, A$AP Ferg, and Ab-Soul begins!

For the past month, I’ve been shamelessly and obsessively promoting Beats on the Banks SO MUCH that the “4” key on my laptop is wearing out thanks to all the $$$$ I’ve been typing.  This will most likely be the first and last time I see that many dollar signs.  Anyway, I must say it is quite rewarding to see an event that you’ve been planning for months in advance, finally come.

Image

Source: RUPA Rutgers Facebook; Working constantly to promote the event through different types of posts.

In terms of preparation, we (Concerts & Coffeehouses committee of RUPA) have been hustling the entire week in order to get things prepared for the concert on Thursday, September 26th.  Aside from making detailed, down-to-the-minute “Day of Show” timelines, we’ve also had to deal with media requests, volunteer assignments, and the most important part: getting food.

No matter how down-to-earth an artist is, without good food, he/she WON’T be happy, and understandably so because nobody likes to be hangry (hungry + angry = hangry).  This is why we take care of both catering (the artist’s actual meal) AND the hospitality rider, which is basically a (usually long, but not always) list of requests by the artist.  Requests range from “2 loaves of wheat bread” and “Orange Juice with specifically SOME PULP” to “white POLO shirts, size L” and “white boxers, size 34.”  So far, the hospitality riders I’ve dealt with thus far have also requested copious amounts of alcohol (an artist recently requested Hennessy) and basic grocery-list items.  However, as much as we want to make sure the artist has fun, we cannot provide them alcohol due to liability issues; they’ll have to rely on the Wii we set up in their dressing room for entertainment.

Source: RUPA Rutgers Instagram; Beats on the Banks Street Team to push ticket sales.

Source: RUPA Rutgers Instagram; Beats on the Banks Street Team to push ticket sales.

Because that list of requests is sent to every venue in which the artists performs at, 9 times out of 10 we get to keep whatever they don’t touch.  Personally, for the show tomorrow, I called dibs on the big jar of Nutella if the artist chooses not to eat it.  I will admit though that I willingly took and ate an open bag of Tostitos given to me by the lead singer of Mayday Parade; I’m sure I consumed the entire band’s germs.

Even with everything prepared, packed, and ready to go, I still can’t help but feel a little bit anxious.  Here’s hoping I get that jar of Nutella.

$tay tuned,

Roxanne