Here's How The Concerts Committee Got Rae Sremmurd—It Wasn't Easy

The committee's assistant director Carina Glastris describes the difficult process of choosing talent

USC Concerts Committee announced on Friday that Big Gigantic, Vanic, XYLO and courtship. will perform at Springfest 2017 in addition to Migos and headliner Rae Sremmurd.

Getting this lineup wasn't easy.

Between spending restrictions, school approvals and communications with booking companies across Los Angeles, Concerts Committee has faced trials and tribulations before booking the highly anticipated artists for the concert this Saturday.

Booking Rae Sremmurd, the hip-hop duo from Mississippi whose song "Black Beatles" spawned the viral mannequin challenge, was an accomplishment for the committee.

"We kind of were shooting for the stars with booking both of them because they're both incredibly talented, incredibly popular artists," said Concert Committees assistant director Carina Glastris.

The committee has been trying to book Rae Sremmurd for the past three years to no avail because of various issues, including a radius clause.

According to Consequences of Sound, radius clauses are "clauses in live music performance contracts that stipulate that an artist won't play shows within a certain radius of said performance for a period of time, so the show being booked won't be undercut by competing gigs."

The major radius clause that the committee faces is Coachella, because the university is within Los Angeles and the 250-mile radius of Indio, where the hugely popular music festival takes place. However, because Springfest is considered a closed show, the committee is sometimes able to bypass the clause.

"Sometimes we can get around those things because this is technically a closed show," Glastris said. "While USC students can bring guests, it's not technically open to the public and we don't ticket for this show, so it wouldn't be cannibalizing market for other shows."

In addition to the radius clause, the process of booking an artist is long and complicated.

"The way that we begin the process is really just sitting down with both our executive board and our entire general committee and just compiling a list of everybody that anybody would be interested in booking for one of our shows," Glastris said.

Once the Concerts Committee makes a list of possible talent for Springfest, it sends information to executive directors and USG for approval.

"Because we are a university sanctioned organization, all of the talent that we try to book for our shows needs to get approved through the university," Glastris said.

Then, if a talent's agent accepts the offer, Glastris said "it takes a little bit of finagling back and forth and getting to a number that we can both agree on." Once the artist is confirmed, a contract gets sent to the committee's legal team to be reviewed and signed.

"It's a very long process," she said. "It's very tedious but definitely a very worthy cause."

The Concerts Committee is taking initiatives to mix things up this year, between scanning students IDs to making a handicapped-accessible platform, both of which have never been done before.

"Being able to scan student IDs as they come in will give us so much information," said Glastris, "As to how many students actually came to the show, but also the demographic of the students whether what year they are, what they're studying, where they're from, whether or not they're a graduate or undergraduate student."

The Concerts Committee is making strides toward making Springfest an inclusive event, as well as one that is able to gather information on the crowd in order to continue producing successful shows with popular artists that meet the interests of the student body.

Another issue Concerts Committee faces is choosing an artist the USC community will be happy with.

"As much positive feedback as we get from our shows each year and with each show, we also get a lot of less than positive feedback," said Glastris. "We're not going to be able to please everybody, because people have, especially at our school, such a wide variety of genre interests."

Popular artists some students would like to see perform include Drake and Calvin Harris, both of whom bring in more than $350,000 per show. Harris makes approximately $400,000 per show, and Drake makes between $500,000 and $600,000 per show. USC has a total enrollment of roughly 43,000 students. To split the burden of the cost, each student would have to pay between $9.30 and $14.00 each to have these artists perform at Springfest.

Program funding goes toward multiple events throughout the year, not just Springfest. The Concerts Committee is mainly funded by undergraduate students, and it received additional funding from USC's Graduate Student Government this semester.

Reach Staff Reporter Maggie Suszka here and follow her on Twitter here.