‘Stars’ is Growing

Samantha Midkiff, Reporter

“Under The Stars” continues to grow as a campus and community event.

This year’s Star Light Concert,  held July 23  to 29, featured Emily Asher’s Garden Party, a Jazz band that has performed at the Star Light Concerts in the past, and the big name act Peter Cetera.

The summer concert’s popularity almost matched the most popular concert ever: last year’s event featuring the band Kansas.

Jeff Kelly, Manager of Cultural and Special Events and Theater Director, marked his sixteenth year as part of the annual concert series. He said between 2000 and 2100 people attended the Peter Cetera series while Kansas brought in only about 100 more fans.

In response to the big Kansas sales, Kelly retained some of the organizational strategies to maintain, or increase, the amount of audience members.

Kelly had attendees fill out comment cards specifying acts that they would like to see in the future.

Kelly said he reviews the comments for common themes about what the audience wants. If Kelly thinks a band may be worth bringing to campus, he will investigate the band’s cost, availability and suitability for the university’s budget.

Kelly is still in the beginning stages of looking through the comment cards to find new artists for the 2018  concert. He also has to wait until school budgets are finalized before moving forward with his search.

“If you ask me in January [or] February, I’d probably be able to give you a better idea, but still wouldn’t be able to give a concrete idea,” Kelly said.

Kelly believes that the “Under The Stars Star Light Series” is important to keep because it is one of the only events that brings so many people to campus.