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SUB announces concert cancellation

| Tuesday, February 2, 2016

After winning a national competition through the online crowd-funding platform Tilt, Notre Dame was set to host the Chainsmokers, a rising DJ duo, last Saturday night. However, on Friday afternoon, the Student Union Board announced via a Facebook post that the concert was cancelled.

“This was a Tilt event, organized by a third party application and not SUB or Notre Dame. … This ultimately made it impossible for us to host the artist on campus,” the post said.

Chainsmokers WEBEric Richelsen

Tilt created a contest in which universities nationwide were invited to purchase tickets to a Chainsmokers concert in advance. The five universities purchasing the most tickets “won” a concert at their school. Notre Dame joined University of California-Davis, University of California-Santa Barbara, University of Connecticut and University of Texas-Austin as winners of the concert.

SUB said they were unable to reach an agreement, citing contract negotiation issues.

“While we did everything we could well in advance to partner with Tilt and provide The Chainsmokers with a venue on campus for the benefit of Notre Dame students, their agency was unfortunately unable to meet our standard contract expectations,” the post said.

According to Tilt campus representative, senior Vince Saladino, a number of contracts were discussed, but the parties were unable to reach an agreement.

“There were three sets of lawyers dealing with the contracts — Tilt, Notre Dame and the Chainsmokers. There wasn’t a version of the contract that all three wanted to sign,” Saladino said. “We weren’t told the specifics of what was the issue, and I’ve heard the million and a half rumors going around as to what it was, but I don’t know for sure.”

Upon hearing news of the cancellation, students expressed discontent with the way the event was coordinated.

“The disorganization of Tilt has been extremely disappointing,” sophomore Colleen O’Neill said. “Although it was confirmed to us that we won this Chainsmokers concert, little to no information has been provided otherwise.”

O’Neill said she did not know what contract issues halted the contract negotiations, but said she thought there would have been more advanced planning.

“In my opinion, Tilt should have contacted the University prior to holding the contest to ensure that everything was checked out before charging students for the tickets of a concert that had many things hanging in the balance,” O’Neill said.

Freshman Natalie Treadwell ran a music blog in high school, which led to a friendship with Andrew Taggart and Alex Pall, two musicians who eventually collaborated to form the Chainsmokers.

“We worked a lot with Alex and Drew before they really became the Chainsmokers,” Treadwell said. “… I’m actually in the #Selfie music video … so I was pretty excited when I found out we won the Tilt concert,” Treadwell said.

Treadwell then reached out to Taggart and Pall, asking them if she could help in any way with the event.

“Drew responded by saying they knew nothing about the concert and that planning would be up to Tilt. … This was my first red flag,” Treadwell said. “Tilt is a great platform to get funding for something like a concert or a dorm event, but they are not coordinated enough to actually put one on themselves. This was their first time trying to put on an event like this. When they started it, they didn’t know which campuses it would be on, how or where the concert was going to be, or who to help coordinate the event.”

A few days after Notre Dame won the concert, Treadwell applied to be a campus representative for Tilt. She said she was granted an interview with Tilt coordinators, but ultimately was not offered a position because she was a freshman.

“This interview gave me a huge insight into what kind of company Tilt is,” Treadwell said. “After my interview, I was pretty convinced that the concert wasn’t going to happen because the people left to do the job had no idea what they were doing.

“Notre Dame is not a campus where kids rage. A concert like the Chainsmokers draws huge concerns for the University, and they were unwilling to reach a contractual agreement. I think the failure is due to a mix of the University’s concern for an out of control rave and Tilt’s inability to facilitate such a large event.”

Contract negotiations are ongoing and, according to Saladino, they are still trying to set a concert date for mid-April. Students who purchased tickets on Tilt can use them for the future concert or receive a refund on happiness.tilt.com.

“Stepan is still Tilt’s top choice since it is the highest capacity venue and does not have 21+ restrictions. They’re hoping to have the contract down as soon as possible for it,” Saladino said.

Treadwell said she is disappointed with Tilt and the University, not with the musicians themselves.

“They are some of the funniest, honest and normal artists I worked with. They didn’t have a big ego, even though they knew their music was good,” Treadwell said. “From all our interactions, they seemed very upset with how this worked out. All and all, they are great musicians but really they’re just two guys who met at NYU and became wildly successful best friends.”

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About Rachel O'Grady

Rachel O'Grady is a senior Political Science major living in Ryan Hall and is currently serving as an Assistant Managing Editor. Hailing from Chicago (actual Chicago, not the suburbs) she's been a Cubs fan since birth.

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