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College/University Concert Planning: Things to Consider

If you want to produce a major concert at a college or university, be prepared, as it will take a lot of time, patience and hard work. Concerts at schools come with a specific set of circumstances that are usually not seen when booking with ‘for profit’ venues.

To make all of your concert planning efforts worthwhile, be sure to review our list of ‘Things to consider” before you start:

* The first step of this process, is to determine a clear purpose for the event. Why should this concert take place?

  • To entertain the student body.
  • To raise awareness and/or money for a cause or community.
  • Teach event committee how to produce a concert.

Identifying the purpose of your event will help determine what act to book, how much money to spend, when/where it should happen, etc.

* Next, consider the goals of the event and the factors that will impact the planning process- such as:

  • Is the concert closed to students or open to the public?
  • Does the entertainment need to meet certain criteria (ie: genre- rock, comedy, hip hop) to ensure community interest?
  • Will this concert be free or will attendees need to purchase tickets?
  • What (if applicable) is the break even point? Does money NEED to be made?
  • Will the event appeal to all student demographics? If not, can adjustments be made so it will?

Event Planning Tips: Industry Keywords


If you are someone who hasn’t spent much time planning comedy, music or theatrical shows the process can be quite overwhelming. Don’t let industry lingo complicate your event planning experience! Take a look at our list of most commonly used terms and their definitions as they pertain to event planning, below:

Advance (in context: “I have to advance the rock show”): When someone affiliated with the act (usually a manager) calls to discuss event details such as arrival time, production requests, rider changes etc.

Backdrop– A large colored or painted cloth hung at the back of a stage to serve as a setting (theater) or background for the performance/event.

Backline Musical equipment requested/required by the hired performers. In most cases, a tour manager will provide an artist ‘Rider’ (see below for definition) which will indicate what musical equipment is needed. In most cases, production companies like us are able to fulfill those requests.

Bid – an offer of a price for  a service. Event planners often deal with many bids from potential vendors (providing the same service) and will usually pick the most budget-friendly price. Bergsten Music is frequently asked to provide/enter a bid when our services are being considered for a large scale event.

Break Even The point where revenue generated from ticket sales is equal to the amount of money spent producing the show.