Dream pop band Asobi Seksu will headline GIG 2012, with performances by DJ Trademark, Photosynthesizers, and a local Towson artist.
Carly Susman ’13 was in charge of finding artists that were both talented and cheap, as the planning committee budget is also spent on food, entertainment, and safety, through hiring more Public Safety officials. Members of the Programming Board have been meeting once a week since December, or more often if there was a pressing issue to resolve.
“We try to plan it as much in advance as possible, and the most difficult part is planning the music because our budget is so tight,” Susman said.
The easiest part was the inflatable entertainment. “We just had one person in charge of that this year, and since we purchased a package, we went around with a catalogue and basically chose the ones that we liked.”
Among others, this year’s GIG will have a bungee station, inflatable slide, mechanical bull, rock wall, and an obstacle course to release pre-exam stress.
But the top priority for GIG is safety. “We try to make it comfortable and not ‘police-state-like’ for students, but safety is a huge issue,” said Susman.
In the past, security was a big issue. “Apparently my freshman year GIG almost didn’t happen because the previous year was nuts. It was really strict – they roped off areas, you had to be checked before you went in – people really didn’t like that, but [Programming board] had to show Goucher that they were serious about keeping it safe.”
Programming Board was also determined to keeping costs under budget, especially for musical acts. Rumors floated about that such singers like Aaron Carter would come.
“The rumor I heard was that Eminem was coming,” Susman said, laughing. “Christine, the OSE member of Programming Board, looked it up, and apparently it would cost $500,000 for him to even consider Goucher – which is definitely never happening.”
But even non-mainstream bands were more expensive than expected.
“I love Yeasayer, a band from Brooklyn, but they requested $40,000, and we don’t even have that much for the entirety of GIG. And often bands require funds for backline [a set of instruments], sound, somewhere for them to stay, and food, and it just adds up to something ridiculous,” Susman said.
Usually the Programming board members first think of bands that are good for the school, research the prices, and if the prices are within the range allotted, they start sending everyone the band’s music videos. This year they were able to hire four artists.
The first is a local musician who goes to Towson, who will play during the day to raise some initial excitement. Another is the Photosynthesizers, a band recommended to them from a booking contact. DJ Trademark, recommended from a member of Programming Board will also perform, and the headlining act Asobi Seksu, a dream pop band from New York City, also found from a booking contact at Duke University.
“We wanted to cover a lot of bases, especially with the DJ who’s going to play music that people recognize and like.”
Topping it all off is more than a thousand glow sticks. “We have glow stick bracelets that are yellow and blue – I’m so excited. When I was a freshman someone said, ‘GIG is great, it’s like everybody’s birthday!’ So go out and have fun, classes are cancelled, don’t worry.” It’s going to be a bright night.