Kesha, Foo Fighters, Blake Shelton and Snoop Dog have all performed at the University of Arkansas thanks to the Headliners Concerts Committee. While there have been some changes over the years in how the committee puts on shows, the goal of bringing big name acts to the U of A has remained the same.
The Headliners Concerts Committee is a student-run and student fee-based organization, most known for their largest event, the Springtime of Youth music festival. This select number of students had to apply to be on the committee. The committee is composed of eleven students and two advisors. Eight students are selected through an applications process and the others are appointed, including the student body president, a representative from University Programs, and a representative from the Associated Student Government.
The student activities fee supports the Headliners Concerts Committee and more than 300 other organizations. This fee allows the committee to offer free tickets for University of Arkansas students. Public tickets, in limited quantities, are sold through the Walton Arts Center.
Headliners’ used to hold two concerts each school year, one in the fall semester and one in the spring semester. The committee decided to change this to an annual festival because of feedback from fellow students. Other SEC schools have spring concerts including Louisiana State University and Auburn University. It is easier to do one big show rather than two smaller shows, especially when it comes to setting up the stage and all the costs that go into it.
Trisha Blau, assistant director of the office of student activities, says that people do not often consider how much hard work goes into putting together a concert of this size. “The committee works very hard,” she said. “Especially with the entire committee being mainly student run, except for filing the contracts with the artists.” The Office of Student Activities works with lots of students who actually create programs and events for other students.
“We do our best to represent all students and provide a wide variety of acts at the show,” Blau said. When confirming acts, the committee tries to make sure the artists are not too similar and would appeal to different types of students with ranging music tastes.
The committee is comprised of students from different classes and with different musical tastes to provide a diverse set of students who pick the artists. It is a different committee every year, mixing in returning committee members with new ones. Applications to be a member of the group come out each spring.
Manny Selvera, a senior majoring in Recreation and Sports Management, is the vice chair of Headliners Concerts Committee. He mentioned
what made him join HCC. “I have always been interested in the entertainment industry, especially the music side,” he said. “Coming to the U of A and learning about who Headliners is and what it does, I knew that this was an organization I wanted to be a part of.”
Selvera said that being on the committee has helped him identify what he wants to do with his career. “Being able to join this group has influenced what I want to do in my future career, by a lot,” he said. “It has given me insight on what I may be doing as it can be very stressful to plan a music festival for an entire college campus. I have loved every single second of it.”
Students who have been to the shows over the years say the same thing. Lexi Goodwin, a junior Communication Disorders major, has attended the past two Springtime of Youth concerts and plans to attend her third this April. “Springtime of Youth gives students a really unique chance to see some of their favorite artists right here in Fayetteville,” she said. “I really appreciate all the time and resources put into the making of it. I’ve gone the past two years to see Lil Dicky and Kesha and it’s always been nothing short of a great time.”
This year, the Springtime of Youth concert will be held on April 25 at the Washington County Fairgrounds. More information about the Headliners Concerts Committee can be found at https://osa.uark.edu/concerts/index.php.