Executive Content Editor
How much would you pay to see one of your favorite artists perform on campus?
Many UCSB students showed their excitement on social media when Associated Students Program Board announced that rapper YG was coming for the annual Halloween concert, Delirium, which happened Saturday at the Thunderdome. Students began lining up early, waiting for the A.S. Ticket Office to open its doors for sales at 10 a.m. Monday morning. Delirium tickets were also sold online, but both sold out mere hours after they became available.
For students without the availability or determination to get in line as early as 5 a.m., their only option was to turn to Facebook and hope that their peers were selling tickets.
Tickets went for high prices throughout the week, some selling for $50, 10 times their face value. The A.S. Ticket Office allowed students to transfer the ticket to another student’s name until it closed on Thursday.
Inflating prices has caused an uproar on popular sell/buy/trade Facebook groups like Free & For Sale, where student administrator Johnson Kam has deleted all posts listing tickets for more than five dollars, their face value. Kam, a third year biology major, asked students who wanted to sell their tickets to frequent less-regulated pages, stating that “Tickets that are being priced for a profit will not be advertised on this page.”
Kam’s supporters called on others to not “screw over another Gaucho,” saying that reselling tickets “leaves it to those with the most wealth.”
Regulations on Free & For Sale and the Delirium event page have caused students to debate the role that a free market plays. Some skirt the rules by posting the ticket for $5, only to have would-be concertgoers bid in the comment sections of the posts.
Ephraim Rodriguez, a second year biochemistry major, commented on Kam’s regulations post about resellers’ choices.
“If someone wants to spend 70 dollars on a ticket for a concert let them. it’s their decision to pay an absurd price,” Rodriguez wrote. “If the bidding starts at the normal price of 5 dollars then the intent of the seller is to be reasonable. If the bid skyrockets to a stupid price, then the buyer is willing and able to pay the price.”
However, the university is quick to put the kibosh on students caught selling tickets for more than what it’s valued at. Any students caught selling tickets for more than $5 are reported to Judicial Affairs, according to ASPB.
Affordability has been a selling point of major ASPB concerts like Delirium and its Deltopia counterpart, The Warm-Up. When ASPB Commissioner Bo Wolfe and Special Events Coordinator Alex Burrow saw ticket prices increase online, they were both disappointed to see students overpaying for a show.
“They’re fellow Gauchos and this was a program put on for the students,” said Burrow, a third year physical geography major. “At five dollars, it’s essentially free and not meant to be a money-making operation.”
Wolfe, a fourth year statistics major, says that the reselling process is something that ASPB is working to stop. The group started by monitoring posts about ticket sales on their Facebook page, but are still investigating other solutions.
Ticket prices are in the single digits due to subsidization from student lock-in fees. Students pay $17.65 a quarter to ASPB, a small percentage of which funds other A.S. projects, but roughly $15 of which goes to ASPB’s annual budget for getting artists, other performers, and movie licenses to entertain the student body.
Students voted in the spring 2016 A.S. elections to increase ASPB’s lock-in fees by $5, accommodating for bigger shows like Delirium and The Warm-Up. ASPB Adviser Marilyn Dukes said that the funding for previous concerts came from both ASPB and fundraising efforts through Chancellor Henry Yang’s office.
Wolfe finds that the concerts are a successful draw for people who either want an alternative to the party scene or simply want something to do on one of Isla Vista’s highest-trafficked weekends. To him, much of the incentive to put on the shows “is about community building.”
“Now that we’ve had a couple runs, it’s something we want to continue doing because we feel that we’re trying to push for that change in culture in I.V and do everything we can to help out with that scene,” Wolfe said.
According to Burrow, people purchased 5,800 tickets this year. ASPB sold 300 more tickets this year than last year’s sold-out Snoop Dogg concert. Indie pop band Fitz and the Tantrums played day one of last year’s Delirium festivities as well. In 2014, Halloween weekend rain drew thousands of students to see rock band Young the Giant play a sold-out show.
Nov. 1, 1:28 a.m.: Previously, a representative from ASPB said that funding for Delirium came from the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs. Financing was provided by ASPB and fundraising through the Office of the Chancellor.