Tuesday night Sam Houston State hosted Josh Turner and T.I. for the 2016 Sammypalooza and set a new record with 4,211 students in attendance. Sammypalooza is a concert provided to students by the university paid for with a portion of Student Service fees.
“I was here when doors opened at seven and the lines were long and crazy so I’m so excited that so many people came out,” Miss Sam Houston Jizyah Shorts said. “I love Sammypalooza every year and I’m a big fan of Josh Turner and T.I.”
The concert was held at Bernard G. Johnson Coliseum with seating in the stadium chairs and floor. The seating choices are first come first serve for students who choose to attend.
“I think it’s a great way for the university to come together,” Student Body President Phill Lund said. “Attendance is going up at all of them, and I think a lot of students are recognizing that this is a good way to hangout and it is fun.”
Students are polled through forms of social media and by in-person surveys in order to decide which artists should perform at Sammypalooza. This year Josh Turner and T.I. were chosen to provide genre diversity.
“First, we want to assess what the students want to see, and then we do what we can do provide them with the entertainers they want to see,” program coordinator Steven Begnaud said. “More people came this year and we picked two very different genres compared to last year, so it paid off for us.”
The concert is planned by a university committee of members from the Division of Student Services. The planning for the next Sammypalooza begins immediately after the current one.
“It takes an entire year to plan it all,” Begnaud said. “I coordinate with getting the talent, production, hospitality, marketing and promotion, alongside Recreational Sports, and ensure everything is on track time-wise.”
The company LD Systems was hired to be in charge of the concert’s production. Student Services found the company in Houston.
“We have used them for a few years and they put on great quality production,” Begnaud said. “They also do production for the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo.”
The concert was advertised in a variety of ways including yard signs posted across campus. Tickets were sold out by Monday.
“The artists were well received by the crowd,” Begnaud said. “It went beyond what I expected, but I was expecting it to go beyond my expectations, I guess.”
According to Begnaud, Student Services will be striving to make next year’s Sammypalooza even bigger and better than this year’s. He said to stay tuned for Sammypalooza 2017.