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Entertainment Board looks to broaden its mission and improve campus programming

September 29, 2023

Ann Basu
HUMOR ME: Comedian Gina Yashere performs in Kresge Auditorium in December 2017. This year, the E-Board hopes to expand its scope beyond concerts to include other types of events, like comedy acts.

The Bowdoin Entertainment Board (E-Board), the College’s student-run event planning group, is planning to expand its programming this year. The E-Board also intends to widen its focus to include more types of events rather than solely planning concerts, which has been its primary purpose in the last several years.

This year, the E-Board is hoping to plan more events like the Friend of a Friend Fest it hosted last April, in which students invited their friends who were artists to perform at Jack Magee’s Pub & Grill. E-Board co-chair Alex Tesson ’23 said these types of events that don’t involve well-known artists are less expensive and allow the E-Board to organize events more frequently.

“In the past, E-Board has been the [students] who plan the fall concert and the spring concert, but there’s so much more that it could do,” Tesson said. “[The fall concert and the spring concert] are not that difficult to plan. The hardest part is picking an artist and then you let the agents talk it out.”

Tesson said the organization realized that it has the time to plan more events this year.

“With all the people and time and resources that [are] involved in running the E-Board, there might as well be more stuff that’s done,” Tesson said. “I wanted to expand the definition of what an E-Board can look like and really focus on the idea that we’re an entertainment board, not a concert board.”

Bowdoin Student Government (BSG) President Paul Wang ’24 thinks the expansion of the E-Board’s scope is warranted.

“I don’t think their organization should be defined by one big event,” Wang said. “They have to have consistent activities throughout the year and I think that’s something they’re planning very well. I think the Friend of a Friend concert last year was a great example of that—just some smaller events that could be an example of a new tradition that wouldn’t just be one big Ivies concert or one big spring concert.”

By emphasizing more frequent events with smaller artists, the E-Board also has more flexibility to bring a higher-profile headliner to campus once per year rather than a few artists with a medium profile.

“We’ve been talking about not just paying for an artist and having them come because Soccer Mommy—I don’t think that was very successful,” E-Board member Oliver Clachko ’26 said. “I like the idea of thinking more about the students and how you can use music—or just some crazy fun DJ thing—as something to bring people together for the sake of students being together outside with music and just having a good time.”

One goal the E-Board has for this year is to throw more events outdoors, particularly in the winter, Clachko said. The group is hoping to hire a DJ to play on one of the quads on campus in between January and March, an idea inspired by Igloofest, which takes place in February in Montreal.

“We think something like [Igloofest] would be perfect to do on Bowdoin’s campus because there’s a large group of people who love being outside in the winter—and there’s also a large group of people who like to pretend that they like being outside,” Clachko said.

The E-Board sent out a survey to the student body on September 8 that asked respondents their preferred music genres, space venues and concert schedule. Three-hundred students responded, according to Director of Student Activities Nate Hintze, who added that student feedback is crucial to the E-Board’s success.

Last year, the E-Board programmed fewer concerts than originally planned to after the group’s leaders did not submit a budget to the Student Activities Funding Committee (SAFC), which led to BSG’s organization of the spring concert.

This year, the E-Board has an approved budget for the entire year and will not have to submit a budget proposal for each individual event it plans, as it had to do last-minute last year for the fall concert.

“I know last year, it appeared like a hostile relationship between [BSG and the E-Board], but this year [Wang] has been extremely helpful and came to one of our meetings and has been working to ensure that the E-board has the room … to accomplish what we want,” Clachko said.

BSG has no plans to organize concerts this year as it did last year with the winter concert and spring concert, Wang said.

“BSG isn’t a party-planning organization,” Wang said. “It’s not something I have any interest in doing … and I really trust Alex and [E-Board co-chair] Kelvin [Welbeck ’24] to do it right.”

Hintze expressed excitement that the E-Board is broadening its scope in a way similar to the group’s function before the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic.

“[The E-Board] used to have comedy shows, national touring improv shows and magicians and hypnotists and then over the years it just became concerts,” Hintze said. “The right vision for the E-board … is to be focused on how this group can do fun events for the whole entire campus and be innovative and different.”

Tesson said the E-Board has had higher membership this year than it did the last.

“There’s a lot of young faces, which is cool to see because it means that people are going to be enthusiastic about this place for at least a few years,” Tesson said.


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