Widgets Magazine

Frost Amphitheater to host spring concert

Frost Amphitheater has a long history as a venue for raucous music festivals and famous artists. Jefferson Airplane played there in the late 1960s, and the prominent space has also seen Miles Davis, Joan Baez and the Grateful Dead, the latter of whom played there more than a dozen times.

 

According to an article written by Ivan Maisel ’81 in Stanford Magazine, the venue was shut down for several years during the height of the Vietnam War after several altercations broke out among concert attendees. Frost is now largely unused, plagued by a lack of modern equipment and lingering fears over safety.

 

That long drought will come to an end this May when a “Spring Fling”–the official name is not yet decided–will take place on Frost’s grassy field.

 

The concert–which has an artist suggestion list that includes MGMT, Beirut, Vampire Weekend, Black Keys and many more–has been in the works for more than a year now.

 

“There was a lot of student interest in it last spring, between op-eds in The Daily and student groups forming with the explicit intention of making this concert happen,” said Stephen Trusheim ’13, one of the members of the organizing committee for the event

 

The concert, which will take place in the late afternoon or early evening on May 19, has yet to sign a headliner. An email was sent out to many of the campus email lists with information about the event, as well as a survey asking students to choose which artists they would like to see.

 

“We have a lot of great recommendations for artists that weren’t on our list,” Trusheim said, noting that over 1,500 students had taken the survey by Wednesday evening. In addition, he noted that many of the comments have been very positive and encouraging, urging the committee to make this an annual event.

 

That may prove to be a daunting task given the budget of the concert–$150,000 at its lowest estimate–and the amount of work required to plan such an event. External sources of revenue, such as sponsorship, are going to be explored after an artist is signed.

 

Funding will largely come from the Stanford Concert Network (SCN), which has given $75,000 of its special fees money to the event. In addition, the ASSU Undergraduate Senate gave the concert committee a $35,000 grant from a rarely used buffer fund. Several University offices–notably the Office of Special Events and Planning (OSEP) and the Office of Alcohol Policy and Education (OAPE)–have also given money to the event.

 

More than their funding however, Trusheim stressed the critical importance of the time and dedication many University administrators have given to the project.

 

The executive board in charge of planning the event consists of Trusheim, Director of SCN Emily Pollock ’13, Associate Director of Student Activities and Leadership (SAL) Snehal Naik, Executive Director of OSEP Elaine Enos, Events Manager of OSEP Rachel Mizenko and former ASSU Executive Angelina Cardona ’11.

 

“Students bring a lot of money to the table, but we don’t have the expertise to hold a concert of this magnitude,” Trusheim said, whereas administrators have extensive experience in planning such events.

 

Trusheim went into detail regarding the arduous process of trying to book a high-profile artist. In addition to expensive fees, many bands require other financial or hospitality arrangements that can put a strain on the organizing committee.

 

Despite the difficulties, Trusheim is confident the concert will be a success for the entire campus.

 

“We’re trying as much as possible to make a spring concert that we can all be proud of and capstone our year together,” he said.

About Brendan O'Byrne

Brendan is a senior staff writer at The Stanford Daily. Previously he was the executive editor, the deputy editor, a news desk editor and a writer for the news section. He's a history major originally from New Orleans.