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Deciding on Derulo: Planning process expedited by TigerPaw Productions

Photo contributed by Jason Derulo

Jason Derulo will be performing in Death Valley on April 16.

Planning for the Jason Derulo concert was done in one third of the time a show of the same size would typically take, according to Tyler Berkey, executive director of TigerPaw Productions (TPP). Berkey said that one year is the ideal timeline to plan a show for an artist like Derulo. “We started four months before, which is an extremely short timespan,” Berkey said. “Around the end of November and beginning of December, we got word from Athletics that if [TigerPaw Productions] wanted to do a show in Death Valley, we could.”

Jon Allen, assistant athletic director for even management, said the Athletic Department has been approached about having events in Memorial Stadium but has been unable to plan them due to scheduling issues.

“We advised Campus Activities and Events that we had a small window this spring after spring football practice and before the field was being replaced that we could entertain some type of show,” Allen said. Because of the turf replacement, possible damage to the field by the concert makes no difference.

“It is unlikely that we will be able to host concerts in the stadium on an annual basis, but we are excited to be able to accommodate this event this spring,” Allen said.

During the decision process, TPP picks a date, budget and venue for a show. The venue and especially the budget dictate what type of shows would be possible.

Berkey, a junior mechanical engineering major, said student polls are conducted about genre and artist preferences. The poll for the Derulo concert received 1,500 responses. After the poll, TPP contacts agencies for artist availability. Then TPP members vote on the artist. For the Derulo concert, though, TPP members did not vote.

“We try as best we can to hold votes on shows,” Berkey said. “The Spring Scene was set over Christmas break, so there was no vote.” Member turnover occurs over break, and a vote is not possible without active members.

Berkey said that the seven members of the TPP Board and Clemson Undergraduate Student Government (CUSG) voted on the artists. The vote

was unanimous.

“We had to make sure that we had somebody booked by April and early enough for tickets to go on sale,” Berkey said. “Students have been wanting a concert in Death Valley for so long, and we didn’t want the opportunity to pass by.” Berkey said that this is the last opportunity for a concert in Death Valley “for awhile.”

This will be the first concert in Death Valley since U2 played in 1997, almost 20 years ago.

CUSG is an equal partner in the project. Vice President Shaq Thomas said that CUSG was responsible for securing the venue and helping TPP with each step in the process.

Thomas told the Senate members in a Feb. 22 Senate meeting that CUSG is receiving 120 free concert tickets.

“They’re free,” Thomas said in response to a senator’s asking what was “special” about them.

Berkey said that he does not know where Thomas got that figure. “They’re not getting 120 free tickets,” he said. TPP is giving CUSG 20 complimentary tickets for the 20 members who helped with the project.

Thomas confirmed Berkey’s statement. “There was never a decision for CUSG to receive 120 tickets,” he said said. 

The Tiger contacted Thomas for clarification on his comment to the Senate but received no response.

Berkey said that the student response has been positive.  “Of course they are always people being negative Nancys, asking, ‘Why didn’t you get this person?’” he said. “It all comes down to budget and time.” The issue is that Clemson is not a city like New York or Atlanta, where artists like Beyonce go. 

Derulo will perform on April 16. Smallpools, a four-piece indie pop band, and a “special guest” will open the show. 

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