Coliseum set to host Sammypalooza

Panic! at the Disco, Cassadee Pope and newly confirmed Mary Lambert are set to headline this year’s Sammypalooza on Wednesday night.
Sam Houston State University’s Recreational Sports Department and the Division of Student Services have been joining forces to provide the university community with live performances since 2010.

Ed Chatal, department of Rec Sports associate director of facilities, said that the collaborative effort is ideal to get the coliseum ready for the live performances and to put on the best show for audience members.

“Student Activities will handle hospitality, outside contractors will handle sound and light [and the] Coliseum generally handles the rest,” Chatel said. “Coliseum office staff sells and distributes tickets, coliseum operations crew will build the stage and set-up the event and coliseum event staff will work the night of the concert: ushers, ticket takers, security, customer service, etc.”

Steven Begnaud, student Activities program coordinator for special events and chair of the Sammypalooza committee, said a lot of preparation – beginning months earlier – goes into pulling off the now annual concert series. However, this year’s process was different than years past.
According to Begnaud, one of the committees’ main focuses goes into researching and selecting talent for the event.

“Artists are chosen based on certain criteria,” Begnaud said. “The first being we want to find artists that one, have notoriety and are recognizable artists, two, we ask students who they want to see, [and], three, are very good live performers. The second comes down to availability, timing and of course pricing.”

Begnaud said once they have decided on musicians they wish to appear at Sammypalooza, the groups set out to secure the talent.

“We send offers to artists we like, and if they agree then we negotiate terms,” Begnaud said. “From there, we come to an agreement and prepare for their arrival the day of the show.”

According to Begnaud, each year the groups involved strive to host a variety of music artists in order to spark interest throughout the community at SHSU.

“We have different genres of music this year, therefore making the entire performance, lighting, sound and audio all completely different than last year’s show,” Begnaud said. “The big thing we strive for is diversity in music every year. We want all students who come to Sam Houston State University to have an opportunity to attend a show of their liking and the best way to do that is to try and change it up each year.”

On Feb. 18, the official Sammypalooza announcement video proclaimed that Skylar Grey would also be performing. She since has backed out of appearing. According to Begnaud, “she had other obligations.”

The musicians that will appear contribute to the popularity of the event. Chatel discouraged waiting until the last minute to pick up a ticket for the show.

“Tickets are going at a steady pace,” Chatel said. “I recommend that students do not wait to the last day.”

Begnaud emphasized the exclusivity of the event to SHSU students and encourages all to who are able to take advantage of this once-a-year opportunity to see premiere talent on campus.

“The show is free to students and Huntsville rarely sees big named artists,” Begnaud said. “A lot of preparation, time and resources go into making Sammypalooza the go-to event on campus each year. This year people can expect an incredible high energy show with some of the best light and sound production you will find, especially here in Huntsville.”

Doors open for the event at 7 p.m. on Wednesday at Johnson Coliseum. Performances begin at 8 p.m.

SHSU students can still receive two free tickets with a valid Bearkat OneCard. Tickets are available to the public for $20.

All tickets can be purchased and picked up at the Coliseum Box office 2. Refunds are not available on tickets, and resale of tickets on university property is strictly prohibited.

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