GrizzlyPalooza, an OU original

The OU Student Program Board hosts an array of campus events throughout the school year. Events such as GrizzlyPalooza, which on Sept. 9 will feature rapper Big Sean, are organized for student entertainment. These events are often at low cost for student admission, but they come at a big price for the university.

The idea for GrizzlyPalooza began to manifest when Jermaine Conaway, the SPB chair, and Kate Rozek, SPB’s mainstage chair, wanted this year’s concert to have a theme. They chose the name based on Lollapalooza, but added an OU twist that is evident in its name.

Previously, the SPB held concert events that had one main act such as Drake, or the All-American Rejects. This year, however, they chose to break the routine.

“We knew that we didn’t want one huge act, we wanted…small and up and coming, not that they aren’t successful, but acts that maybe aren’t just huge.”

According to Rozek, GrizzlyPalooza will be different than any previous SPB concerts.

“It is going to be like nothing OU has ever had before. It is going to be a fun welcome week concert with some amazing entertainment,” said Rozek.

Up and coming artists Big Sean, Wale, G-Eazy, Big Krit and Dusty McFly were chosen partially on genre as the SPB tries to mix up the style of music performances at OU from year to year.

“We kind of try to switch up every so often, like how we did Drake and then we wanted to do electro-dance type music (LMFAO) and then we kind of want to go back to (hip-hop). This is hip-hop too, but it’s kind of up and coming and underground,” Conaway said.

Cost plays the biggest role in who the SPB can book, and mainstream artists can come at a price way above their budget.

“We would love to get Katy Perry or Taylor Swift, but they start off at a million dollars to just bid on them. Or someone like Kesha, they cost hundreds and hundreds of thousands of dollars and we just don’t have that,” Conaway said.

According to Conaway, concerts like GrizzlyPalooza still cost nearly $100,000 after production. The money used to pay for the event comes from previous ticket sales and a small percentage of tuition money.

“We’re directly funded, so we get a portion of student money to provide for students just as OUSC and The Oakland Post…so that’s where the money comes from – based on student funds,” Conaway said.

If one event is successful, the money made from that is recycled for use in future events. GrizzlyPalooza is being partially funded by the success of the 2010 Drake concert at OU.

“It (2010 concert) was really successful, so we wanted to reuse the money and kind of recycle it to make another event for students,” Conaway said.

According to Conaway, there are many additional costs associated with putting on a show like GrizzlyPalooza such as production, venue, contracts and lights. The LMFAO concert held earlier this year required the SPB to invest in screens and confetti specifically for their show.

The cost of admission to GrizzlyPalooza for OU students is $5 and $15 for guests.

Gabrielle Jennings, a freshman majoring in business administration, has plans to attend GrizzlyPalooza. She liked the fact that admission prices were kept low for students and their guests.

“I saw the poster, it looks like everyone is going to be there…(admission rates) allow you to bring someone else for a reasonable price,” Jennings said.

Conaway expressed that GrizzlyPalooza will be a chance for students to have fun before kicking off a busy school year.

“This is your gift for the beginning of the school year…it’s going to be something to start off the year before all the stresses of the semester,” Conaway said. “Even if you don’t like them, it’s just something fun.”

Tickets are on sale now at the CSA window or Ticketmaster. OU students must get their tickets at the CSA window for the discount. For more information, visit