The Rutgers University Programming Association (RUPA) spent a total of $95,000 for this Friday's Rutgersfest concert lineup, which includes Pitbull, 3OH!3 and Yelawolf.
"The amount we spend on talent only went up to what it had to," said Lori Smith, assistant director of student centers and programs at the University. "It's a pretty cost-effective event. We expect 20,000 to 30,000 people to come out to Rutgersfest."
Smith said although the event is free to members of the University community through the funding of mandatory student fees, the cost per person at the event is low.
For rapper Pitbull, RUPA paid $50,000 while they spent $35,000 for electronic duo 3OH!3 to perform, she said. In an effort to bring an up-and-coming act to Rutgersfest, RUPA paid Alabama-based rapper and Eminem's new protégé Yelawolf $10,000.
"I think he'll be big and has a lot of potential," Smith said. "We got Ludacris and Kanye West before they were huge. It's a fun, strategic thing the committee members get to do, figure out who's going to make it."
Ana Castillo, president of RUPA, agreed that Yelawolf has potential.
"I've heard a lot of inklings about him. He has a pretty big underground following," she said. dailytargum
Smith said the fees they spent on performers are average compared to the asking prices of other acts that perform at colleges.
Ludacris, who played at 20 different schools this year, costs between $70,000 and $75,000, she said. Meanwhile Kesha, who had 10 dates this year, costs $50,00 to $100,000.
"It's interesting, we range in the kind of upper-middle class in terms of school level and cost of bands," Smith said.
Smith, who always hears requests for Lady Gaga to play Rutgersfest, said the performer charges anywhere from $500,000 to $1 million.
"3OH!3 is also playing at the University of Massachusetts and the University of Southern Florida around now," she said. "It's hard at this time because we're up against Coachella and Bamboozle, and a lot of people don't start their tours until the summer."
Rutgersfest also provides an opportunity for this year's Battle of the Bands winner Dirty Mac to play a large-scale concert, said Castillo, a School of Arts and Sciences senior.
"Sometimes it's the first chance for a student band to perform in a huge setting and to be in front of that many people. It's a great beginning of a career," she said.
Smith encourages those who are unfamiliar with the bands in the lineup to come to Rutgersfest on Busch campus.
"It's a free concert, an opportune time to investigate new music," she said. "I see a lot of different bands that I didn't know before at Rutgersfest. You find out you like the music."
RUPA's Concerts and Coffeehouses committee starts planning the lineup for Rutgersfest in May, almost a year before the event takes place, Castillo said.
"The students do a significant amount of research to see who's starting a tour and if it matches up with our date," Smith said. "They work with a middle agent who knows the trends and who is on tour."
The event, which usually took place in the Yellow Lot on the Livingston campus, will be at Yurcack Field and the surrounding areas on Busch, Castillo said.
"There's more space to use on Busch, it'll seem bigger," she said. "It's a grass field, so the ground is softer. There's less asphalt for you to crack your head open on if you do something crazy."
Smith said RUPA does not only invest in entertainment for the event, but also in security and safety.
"We want the event to be as safe as possible," she said. "We want the student body to have a good time but not get injured or hurt, so we try to provide as safe of an environment as possible."
RUPA members will be stationed at bus stops Friday to prevent students from pouring out into the streets when waiting for buses, the encouraged mode of transportation, Smith said.
"There's not a lot of parking on Busch, and there are normal parking rules in effect for the day as well as road closings," she said. "We added shuttles that take people from College Avenue to the concert site."
Aside from the Rutgers University Police Department (RUPD) that will be patrolling campus, RUPA has hired around 20 to 40 extra security guards to stand at the front of the stage, Smith said.
Rhonda Harris, chief of the RUPD, said the department is coordinating with the New Brunswick Police Department (NBPD) for after the concert shuts down.
"We'll have 35 extra officers in the evening hours," she said. "That doesn't count the concert itself. Both the RUPD and NBPD limit officers from taking personal days on Rutgersfest."
Harris said the departments would be on the look out for alcohol-related incidents and fights after the festival in the 5th and 6th wards of New Brunswick, as Rutgersfest draws in a large crowd of people not affiliated with the University.
Smith said NBPD officers would be a significant force off-campus, looking for fire code violations like too many people at house parties and too many people on rooftops in New Brunswick, where the houses are old and not strong enough to support them.
RUPA also wants students to drink responsibly on Friday and stay hydrated with water in between drinks.
"We expect a certain amount of drinking to happen that day — we're not telling them not to," Castillo said. "Don't get too wasted. You won't remember you were there. We want to make sure that the reputation of Rutgersfest doesn't get out of hand."
Harris encourages students to use their judgment for Rutgersfest.
"Enjoy the day but remain aware of the surroundings, and call the police to report suspicious activity or anyone who is behaving in an aggressive manner," she said.
Castillo said RUPA is confident that the three-artist concert lineup will be a hit.
"Just from the response since we announced the lineup during our Michael Jackson tribute event, the amount of screaming and yelling and jumping, gave us an idea of how excited people will be," she said. "Dance music will make it a different kind of experience from past Rutgersfests."