‘Idol’ winner performs for sold-out Vandament

Nolan Krebs

It’s been almost a month since tickets sold out, but “American Idol” winner and singer-songwriter Phillip Phillips will perform for a full house at the Vandament Arena on Sunday, April 14.

Graduate assistant at the Center for Student Enrichment (CSE) Hannah Kratz said Phillips was brought up during a meeting at the end of the Fall 2012 semester as a potential performer students were excited about.

“When we were looking for acts, [Phillips] came up and students were really excited about it,” Kratz said.

According to Kratz, Phillips was reaching out to universities for his upcoming tour.

“[Phillips] wanted to do a college tour and we knew the students would like it,” Kratz said.

Students were able to purchase tickets on Wednesday, Feb. 13 and tickets became available to general public on Monday, March 4. By Wednesday, March 13, tickets were officially sold out.

“During spring break, tickets went on sale for the public,” Kratz said. “Within that week they were sold out. We sold between 900 and 1,000 to students and the rest were to community members.”

Selling out the Vandament isn’t exactly common — the 1,500-capacity arena usually draws about 1,000 people, Kratz said.

The concert is sponsored by the student organization Northern Arts and Entertainment (NAE) and supported by the student activity fee.

In the past, NAE has brought acts to campus including the Goo Goo Dolls, Train, Third Eye Blind, Craig Robinson, 3OH!3 and Big Gigantic.

NAE social media chair Chris Salgot said choosing an artist to come to campus can be something of an ordeal.

“The process of deciding on an artist or act is a long, often frustrating process,” Salgot said. “We start in the summer with freshman orientation sessions[…]we also survey the new students and see which artists they would like to see at Northern.”

Salgot said the next step in the process involves a lot of group discussion and what is within the means of the organization.

“We also will release a survey on our Facebook page with a few artists we have in mind to see the response,” Salgot said. “We take that information and discuss what artists are available and what artists the group has funding for.”

Salgot said after choosing an artist, things don’t always go as planned.

“Very often, we will make an offer on an up-and-coming artist, but they will pass because a bigger school if offering more money for the same date,” Salgot said. “There will always be people that won’t like who we bring, but this show in particular has drawn lots of interest from students.”

According to his website, Phillips began making music at the age of 14 when he picked up the guitar. After studying industrial systems technology at Albany Technical College, Phillips worked for his family’s pawn shop and eventually auditioned for “American Idol”’s 11th season in 2011, which he won by performing renditions of songs by artists such as Creedence Clearwater Revival and Otis Redding.

Phillips released his debut single “Home” on the same day he won “Idol,” which sold 278,000 digital copies and marked the highest debut on the Billboard Digital songs chart.

While tickets are currently sold out, Kratz said NAE will be holding a ticket giveaway through the organization’s Facebook page.

For more information about the Phillip Phillips concert, call the Center for Student Enrichment at (906) 227-2439 or email [email protected]