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The North Wind is an independent student publication serving the Northern Michigan University community. It is partially funded by the Student Activity Fee. The North Wind digital paper is published daily during the fall and winter semesters except on university holidays and during exam weeks. The North Wind Board of Directors is composed of representatives of the student body, faculty, administration and area media.

Students protest against Israel-Hamas war with campus encampment
Students protest against Israel-Hamas war with campus encampment
Dallas Wiertella April 30, 2024

Organization hosts two national acts this spring

NMU students have the chance to see several nationally renowned musical acts this spring, resulting from the efforts of Northern Arts and Entertainment (NAE).

On Saturday, March 23, NAE presented Top-40 country group Gloriana, and on Sunday, April 14, last season’s “American Idol” winner Phillip Phillips will make the trip to Marquette on behalf of NAE.

According to junior entertainment and sports promotion major and NAE President Marcela Godoy, the group of about 25 active student members goes through a long process in picking an artist to perform at NMU.

“Lately our goal has been to bring a variety of genres to the university,” Godoy said. “Once we narrow down a list, we do surveys, go around campus and get feedback from other students. We spend weeks discussing acts, and if we don’t feel comfortable with any, we move on and continue to look.”

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Godoy said NAE has worked with an agent from the agency “Concert Ideas,” for years, and has built up a working relationship with them.

“He is always updating us on who is touring, who is in our budget and what’s a good idea,” Godoy said. “The awesome part is since he’s worked with our school for a while, he knows what kind of shows do well here.”

Godoy said Gloriana did quite well, and NAE sold about 1,000 tickets for the country act. The April Phillip Phillips show is already sold out.

According to senior digital cinema major and NAE member Mike Kvackay, having a country act was a much needed genre chance for NAE, which has brought primarily rock and electronic shows in recent years.

“Ever since I’ve been a student, I don’t think we’ve had a country act,” said Kvackay, who has been in the organization for two years. “Gloriana was definitely a pretty good choice — I think a lot of students have responded well to the difference in genre because we’ve done rock and electronica, so it was time for us to do country.”

NAE is a Student Finance Committee-earmarked organization, which means they receive about $4.25 from each student out of the “Student Activity Fee” paid every semester. Both Gloriana and Phillip Phillips cost about $13,000 each to bring to Northern.

“The whole group was super excited, because they were focusing on smaller schools, they cut the cost of what he would normally charge,” Godoy said.

She said one difficulty NAE has faced in getting acts to Northern is how remote NMU’s location is.

But for this particular tour, Phillip Phillips’ management wanted only college shows and dates, so NMU was a perfect fit.

“A lot has to happen for shows to come here,” Kvackay said. “And a lot of people don’t understand the behind the scenes aspect of it.”

Phillip Phillips’ 2012 album “The World from the Side of the Moon” debuted at No. 4 in the Billboard 200. The album’s hit single “Home,” reached No. 9 on the chart’s “Hot 100,” in August. This fall, he will be touring alongside John Mayer.

“We’ve had questionable choices in the past, but I think they’ve taken the advice of the community and students,” Kvackay said. “It feels like they’ve really responded well to the main focus of students, not just getting the artists that we want, but the artists that the student body wants.”

Students orchestrate every aspect of putting on a NAE concert, from preparation and planning, to arranging the various facets and events on the day of the show. The group meets on Mondays at 8:30 p.m. in the Back Room of the University Center.

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