It will get dark around 8:02 p.m. on Sunday, April 22. Generally, people like to be relaxed and at home by the time the sun sets over the horizon, but that night, 8:02 p.m. might mean something different to the crowd amassed in the Molecular Biology Parking Lot. For those in the crowd wary enough to pay attention to the time at all, it means they only have one hour left to enjoy the Student Union Board Outdoor Concert.
Ever since Student Government allotted $190,000 to SUB last fall, Director of Student Activities George Micalone and his team at SUB have been hard at work creating an eventful evening of entertainment for this spring. It cumulated in the Outdoor Concert, which will include performances from Fetty Wap, Cheat Codes, KYLE and Andreas Moss.
“What makes this outdoor concert different/special from our previous indoor concerts is that we are trying to provide a new experience for the students at Iowa State and giving them something special to attend,” said Mackenzie Coberley, SUB's National Events Director. "The fact that it is outside allows us to do more and provide more experience with productions and the food and beverages we are supplying.”
Now that the performers are public knowledge, Micalone awaits to find out how many of the 12,000 available tickets will be sold, because if enough people attend, the outdoor concert could become Iowa States next great tradition.
“Our model for this show is to subsidize as little as possible and to generate an income that will be used to sustain next year’s outdoor show,” Micalone said. “That’s why it’s important for people to go, if you’re on the fence, go anyway, the event is sustained by tickets we earn this year. The more people that attend, the more likely we can make the outdoor show an annual experience.”
SUB was careful in selecting performers for the show, because they knew if it wasn’t appealing enough to the masses, then the target sales of the concert wouldn’t be met.
“We tried our best to identify the genre that would appeal to a generalized audience, which we know leans between hip-hop and electronic,” Micalone said. “After we determined that, it was important for us to get a variety of successful performers for the show, instead of a sole performer, as a way to attract as many people as we could who enjoy that type of music.”
Trevor Dahl, Kevin Ford and Matthew Russell haven’t stopped making music together since they met in Los Angeles back in 2014. They became the electric DJ trio Cheat Codes soon after. They are one of the performers on Sunday. This isn’t just their first time playing music in Ames, rather Iowa entirely.
“We all knew from a young age we wanted to do music and how to throw the dopest parties,” Russell said. “We are really enjoying playing the song we did with our friend Demi, 'No Promises.' We know this crowd will get hyped for that one.”
Kevin Ford spoke about the writing process behind of some of their biggest hits, like their previously mentioned Demi Lovato collaboration smash mentioned above along with their breakthrough 2016 track “Sex.”
“We do everything, all the songs you hear from us are always made in our bedroom not big fancy studios,” explained Ford. “Our process is simple: we kick it back and just roll with it. We only remix songs that we know we can probably make the production better on or songs that we just love and vibe to.”
It’s not by coincidence that Fetty Wap and Cheat Codes are appearing together for Sundays big show, their collaboration last year, “Feels Great,” garnered plenty of attention and will be the rationale for Cheat Codes to come on stage with Mr. Wap.
“I guess you can say performing with Fetty Wap is as important as Saturday is for the boys," Russell said.
KYLE, who sometimes goes under the moniker SuperDuperKyle, will also be making his Ames debut.
"I’ve driven through here a bunch of times, but ... now I finally have the opportunity to perform here," KYLE said.
KYLE, who is performing Friday night at the second weekend of Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, draws heavy influence from Kid Cudi.
"[Cudi] has helped me out in my dark times and I respect his artistry. From the way he performs, sings, his video, he is the complete package," KYLE said. "I would love, love, love to make a song with [Cudi]."
Micalone also mentioned that if the show hits its marks he is open to bringing in diverse genres in the years to come, such as rock or country.
A student ticket will run for $35, with public admission reaching $50. Jennie Norris is the president of SUB and was integral in determining a fair price for the event.
“Since this is a university event, we wanted to make tickets reasonably priced for college students,” Norris said. “We determined the prices by past experiences with concerts and to supply the funds for future concerts.”
Between all the facets of organizing an event of this scale and magnitude, it’s important to disperse the $190,000 in a correct manner. The money for the show is all from the initial pool allotted by Student Government, and when the public only sees the lump sum, it’s easy to forget how much money is spent on features other than the performers.
“The money will apply to the artists, logistics of the concert, security, lighting, and the stage, among other things,” Norris said. “In the end, our goal is to provide an entertaining experience for the student body, just as we aim to do with every other event.”