Contract snag derails Good Old War concert
An anticipated performance by indie band Good Old War, sponsored by the ONE campaign, will not take place due to insurance payment issues between the band’s management and University representatives.
Two seniors worked from September up until this past Monday to have Good Old War perform but hit several roadblocks along the way, according to senior and concert coordinator Pat Daley.
The program was not canceled, because it was never confirmed or finalized since the contract was never signed by the band or by a University representative, according to Sarah Clifford, assistant dean of students for leadership development..
“The issue that came up was that the band was not able to fulfill the insurance requirement on our standard contracts,” Clifford said. “The contract we sent is the same standard contracts we use for every performance/speaker/event on campus where cost of the program is over $1,000,” she added.
The students who proposed the program were told they could not promote the event or sell tickets until the contract was signed by both parties, which it never was, according to Clifford.
According to Daley, in September he and senior Alyssa Alfano began working with the Student Activities Board and were promised $12,000 in late October.
Two weeks before the end of the semester, Daley and Alyssa were told that SAB had decided not to fund the event, Daley said.
“Still, Alyssa and I were committed to making this happen, so we went to the SGA Finance Committee asking for $9,000, and were given $7,500,” Daley said.
Over winter break, Daley began contract negotiations with Meredith Jones, Good Old War’s booking agent from the Creative Artists Agency, negotiations from the original asking price of $10,000 to $6,000 by the time this semester began, according to Daley.
“Though we’d originally planned to hold the concert in the Theatre-in-the-Round, we were informed on January 30th that the TITR could not accommodate our electrical needs.” Daley said. “We then scrambled to find another location and finally decided on the Main Lounge on Tuesday, February 7.”
According to Daley, a contract was sent to Good Old War’s management on Feb. 7. A call the following night from Jones said that $6,000 was not a large enough offer.
“That’s when we decided to begin the Tweet-A-Thon,” Daley said. According to Daley, on Feb. 9, from about 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. more than 60 students sent tweets to the Good Old War account using the hashtag #GOWtoSHU.
“The Twitter blast was so successful that Meredith called me that night, agreeing to our new offer of $7,000,” Daley said. “By then, we were all convinced that Good Old War was coming, and we began promoting on Facebook.”
According to Daley, the efforts online were admittedly premature. “The contract negotiations ran into a snag on Monday the 13 when a dispute over insurance coverage brought everything to a halt,” Daley said.
Seton Hall’s contract, which is used for all performers who come to the University, required Good Old War to provide $3 million in aggregate performer’s insurance, but Good Old War was only prepared to provide $1 million, according to Daley.
“Over the course of the next week, we tried to find a solution, but were told that it would take Seton Hall’s legal department more than a month to rewrite the contract,” Daley explained. “Neither side was willing to budge on the insurance issue, and thus on Monday the 20th, we were forced to cancel the concert in hopes of postponement to a later date.”
An email sent on Feb. 20th at 3:18 p.m. by band manager Ryan Chisholm served as the official rejection to perform.
“Due to financially unfeasible requests in the Seton Hall Performance Contract, Good Old War is unable to perform this week at SHU,” an official statement issued by Chisholm states. “The band was very much looking forward to this show, and to meeting the incredible student body of SHU, especially those that took to Twitter to make the band feel welcomed to play Seton Hall. We hope that we can play the school in future without the current restrictions,” Chisholm added.
“The people on both sides of the negotiation did their best to make this concert work,” Daley said. “The fact that no agreement was reached does not reflect upon the individuals in the SHU administration, nor does it mean that they failed at their jobs. Rachel Siconolfi, Sarah Clifford and others were in our corner the entire time, and did their best to make this come together,” he added.
“[We had] absolutely no issues with performing at SHU,” Chisholm said. “The band simply couldn’t afford to play the show given the contractual requirements.”
Charlotte Lewis can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.