T-Pain to headline DAM JAM 2016

Cianna Levi and Riley Youngman Practicum Contributor/News Editor

Adieu Caribou, The Colourist to open, tickets go on sale today

The Memorial Union Program Council announced yesterday that T-Pain will headline the annual DAM JAM music event at Oregon State University this year.

The event, which takes place on May 21, will open with performances by the winner of the recent Battle of the Bands contest at OSU, Adieu Caribou, and the Southern Californian band The Colourist.

Tickets for DAM JAM go on sale today, and can be purchased in the Student Experience Center at a cost of $7 for students, and $25 for non-students.

As DAM JAM draws near, event coordinators Calvin Nguyen and Sarah Sutton are working to prepare for the event.

According to Sutton, a member of the MUPC and the co-head of the committee that plans the event, the annual concert is one that invites renowned artists and performers to campus for a night of fun and entertainment.

“DAM JAM is an event created by students, for students,” Sutton said.

Along with Sutton, Nguyen also volunteers his time to co-head the student committee that is in charge of not only DAM JAM but the Winter Acoustics Series and Battle of the Bands. The committee consists of more than 30 volunteer students and there are dozens of people who support the pre-production of the event, according to Sutton.

Nguyen and Sutton started planning this upcoming DAM JAM in August of last year.

The MU Quad will be set up with a huge stage for each set of performers and will be enclosed with security entrances because of the enormous size of the expected crowd.

According to Nguyen, having 24,000 undergraduates is one of the hardest parts of creating such a large scale production. Finding performers that the target audience will want and appreciate is a common problem that the staff runs into, according to Nguyen.

Nguyen hopes that people will see that he, his partner and staff try their absolute hardest to please everyone.

“We’re trying our best to look out for everybody at Oregon State and what they want, because, we’re a part of the big Beaver family too,” Nguyen said. “We want this event to be an amazing experience for every one of the students, but of course, we can’t please everyone with there being thousands of opinions out there. We hope everyone sees that we try our absolute hardest to though.”

With the larger event though comes a higher price. Past performers of Dam Jam, such as Mike Posner and Hoodie Allen, can have a concert rate range of up to $75,000, according to Sutton and Nguyen.

“The decision has always been made mostly by the Head Event Coordinators, that being Sarah and I,” Nguyen said. “However, when Sarah and I took on this position, we saw that there was this void between the students and Dam Jam, and that was the students not being able to choose what headliner they want to see at the concert. So this year, we decided to put it in the students’ hands.”

In previous years, the staff would implement a middle man that supplied information about which performers would be available, in the price range and best suited for the Oregon State community, according to Nguyen.

This year, two polls were released to the students by the staff; one that questioned which genre people would like to hear, and one questioning which five attainable artists out of that genre they would want to perform at DAM JAM.

“Once we saw that students wanted rap and hip hop, we selected a list of five potential headliners and released a poll during Winter Term. Over 2,600 students voted,” Sutton said.

Nguyen has noticed a buzz around the event coming from the student body, even early on in the planning process.

“My favorite part of the event is seeing the excitement that everyone gets from just talking, gossiping, and even just thinking about the event. Even in September, eight months out from the event, the energy students had for the event was unbelievable,” Nguyen said.

Nguyen enjoys the community aspect of the event, and sees all the hype and even arguments of headliners as a positive aspect of Dam Jam.

“The coolest part for me, I think, is how it brings everyone together,” Nguyen said. “No matter if it’s arguing about who would be a better headliner, watching music videos of their music, or getting pumped about what food vendors are going to be there, everyone is having a great time together talking about DAM JAM.”

The staff would like to remind attendees to be respectful of all event staff, volunteers and safety personnel during the event.

According to MUPC director, Jessica Hammock, Nguyen and Sutton are always hard at work.

“They have both been extremely motivated and kept the interest of OSU students in mind with every decision they make,” Hammock said. “I can’t wait to see all their hard work pay off at the concert! It has been an honor to work with both of them.”

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