New Comedy Festival Scheduled for Feb. 5

“I wanted to do something different that students could look forward to,” Vice President of Student Life Kristina Pham said. “We already have Sun God and FallFest. It was clear we needed something in the winter.”

The festival is scheduled to take place Feb. 5 in Price Center West Ballroom, where three comedians will perform.

Due to contract negotiations, the names of the comedians cannot be released until the end of this week. Currently, the Concerts and Events Office is waiting for the headlining act and an accompanying act to finalize the agreement.

The contract for the third act has been completed since before winter break.

AVP Concerts and Events Brian Wong said his office was very lucky to book the performers they wanted for the show.

Pham and Wong decided last Spring Quarter to host a comedy event, inspired by the positive response received from the comedy performers at last year’s Sun God Festival. In the past, the council organized popular events where individual comedians — such as Bobby Lee and Russell Peters — performed.

“Comedy was a big hit during Sun God,” Pham said. “[In past comedy events], it’s kind of low-key [and it was] really difficult to get a large-scale concert. I feel that we have a lot of large-scale concerts and we need to emphasize the event side of the office. And so [the new comedy event] would be a great aspect to the campus for winter.”

In the past, the main student life event of Winter Quarter was the WinterFest concert, which featured such performers as Switchfoot and Zion I. The event was cancelled three years ago due to low turn-out.

“With this  event, it’s basically a start-up event, we are not relating it toward WinterFest at all,” Pham said.

Although the show is free, students will need a wristband — which can be picked up at the UCSD box office — to get in. According to Wong, the show will be oversold to allow for no-shows. Pham also said that the performances will be projected in the Loft for those who cannot get into the ballroom.

The event will cost $31,980, an amount funded entirely by the council’s mandate reserves. Of this, $2,000 goes to security and $1,500 is for the venue. About $3,000 is for lights, sounds and stage while another $2,000 is for box office and miscellaneous handling. The rest of the costs have been allocated to talent.

“The money is coming from mandate reserves [so] it is not taking money from any other program,” Wong said in an e-mail. “It is money collected from previous students that would continue to be unspent except for other one time costs like this one.”

Wong also said he took into consideration student life and the free admission.

“It’s also my job to create events and promote student life on campus,” Wong said. “This event costs $0 to attend. Students have to pay their fees, they might as well enjoy what they’ve spent.”
Pham said the different types of concerts were suggested, but the council decided on a comedy show.

“If it turns out well then the next year, council will decide if we want to continue funding it,” Pham said. “And at that point, it’s when we see where to take the funding from.”

Additional reporting by Justin Kauker.

Readers can contact Regina Ip at [email protected]. 

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