WhittFest T-minus one week

Ceci Carmichael

WhittFest, Whittier College’s first ever large-scale concert, is coming to our school on April 7, just a little over a week from now, and some students are feeling conflicted about attending.

Ticket sales started Feb 2, when headliner T-Pain was announced. As of this week, more than 500 tickets have been sold and the number is projected to increase.  “We hope to sell a bit closer to 1,000 [tickets],” said Associate Dean of Students Josh Hartman. “Folks tend to wait until the last minute to get tickets, so we expect there will be a boost in sales over the next couple of weeks.” Hartman has been an active member of the WhittFest Concert Committee (CC), assisting the students in logistical decisions. 

There is some confusion about why students are being charged for tickets. The concert is being funded partially through the Student Body Activity Fee; however, it is still $15 for students with their ID card. Whittier College staff, faculty, and alumni will be charged $20 with their ID card. Guests will be charged $25 for their ticket. 

A member of the WhittFest Concert Committee (CC), first-year Mercedes Pinillo, emphasized the CC has been working extremely hard to sell more tickets. “We’re advertising around campus with chalk, posters, Student-L emails, and word of mouth,” Pinillo said. “We’ve also made tickets more accessible by allowing [the tickets] to get charged to their student account.” 

T-Pain was chosen as WhittFest’s headliner after students were polled by the CC early in the year. The most popular genre was R&B/rap, and the selection process went from there. T-Pain fit the concert’s schedule, facility needs, and budget. Some students who are not planning on going explained that the show does not interest them. “I would go if T-Pain wasn’t the headliner,” said first-year David Moreno. “If it was a band or artist that I was more interested in, I would have bought my ticket already.” 

Others who have bought their tickets see the concert as an investment in Whittier College’s future. “I really wanted to support the school and the people who came up with the idea,” said first-year Haily McCord. “They’re doing something awesome for the community and I’m really just showing appreciation by deciding to buy a ticket. I also bought it because T-Pain is a pretty big name for such a small school like Whittier and I don’t want to miss out on that.”

Some students bought tickets simply because of the artists that are performing. “I saw T-Pain in concert in November and the show was really fun,” said junior Maddie McMurray. “I think it’ll be another good show.”

This concert is the first of its kind at the College. The CC has been working on this event the entire year; it has taken countless hours and large sums of money to bring the event to life.  In order to ensure another concert like this in the future, the success of the event is vital to the Committee. WhittFest was brought to campus after extensive surveying of student interest. “We want to pack the house essentially,” said Pinillo. “We want this show to be successful so that we will be able to do this for years to come.”

Whittier College’s play, Next to Normal, overlaps the show and is preventing some students from attending. “I totally wish I could make it to Whittfest; unfortunately it conflicts with the musical Next to Normal, because I’m working backstage for the show,” said first-year Megan D’Souza. This poses a conflict for students, who would like to attend Whittfest, but have prior commitments to the play.

T-Pain will be coming to the College after a stop at Occidental College on April 1. Some students have shown interest in attending Occidental’s performance because it is free, however it is only free to the schools students and is closed to the public. 

Tickets are available at shannoncenter.org and at the Ruth B. Shannon Center Box Office. Studentsmay pay with cash, card, or have it charged to their student account.