The Major Activities Board (MAB) has decided not to hold their annual winter quarter comedy show this year. The decision was prompted by a decrease in MAB’s budget and the desire to preserve resources for Summer Breeze, according to fourth-year and MAB chairperson Lyndsey McKenna.
Calling Summer Breeze MAB’s “flagship” event, McKenna said the board members voted unanimously to cut the winter quarter show after deciding that dividing their resources between two events would divert too much of their funds from Summer Breeze and limit their choice of acts for the comedy show.
“Our goal is putting on the highest-caliber events that we can,” McKenna said. “It didn’t seem to make sense to have a comedian who…doesn’t necessarily appeal to students, who isn’t a well-known figure.” Last year’s winter show, featuring comedian-musician Reggie Watts, cost $20,000, and only 400 out of a possible 1,000 tickets were purchased.
Student Government (SG) allocated MAB approximately $185,000 for this academic year, a nearly $15,000 decrease from their 2011–2012 budget.
Last year’s Summer Breeze, the most expensive in MAB’s history, cost over $180,000, about $45,000 of which was recovered in revenue, McKenna said. This year’s fall show, which featured the band Sleigh Bells, cost $40,000 after accounting for revenue from the show, she said.
MAB receives funding through the Programming Coordinating Council (PCC), an SG body that divides money from the Student Life Fee between MAB, Doc Films, University Theater (UT), the Council on University Programming (COUP), Fire Escape Films, and WHPK. Doc’s budget was increased by over $50,000 this year after they requested funding for a new projector. UT, which was allocated just under $9,000 more than they received last year, was the only other group in the PCC to receive a funding increase.
Even with the cut, MAB was still awarded the largest amount of money. COUP, the group that received the second-largest amount from the PCC, was allocated approximately $125,000 this year.
McKenna expressed hope that MAB’s budget constraints would be alleviated in the future.
“It’s not our intention to ever have to cut the winter show again,” she said.
This year’s Summer Breeze will be held on May 18. The acts will be announced shortly before tickets go on sale in May, McKenna said.