Only a couple weeks after Spring Fling, there will be yet another opportunity for a weekend extravaganza -- and this time, in the name of a charitable cause. On Sunday, April 27, the Pi Kappa Phi fraternity will host a benefit concert featuring the band Guster in Irvine Auditorium. All proceeds will go toward PUSH America, Pi Kapp's national outreach program, as well as the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. This is the third year Pi Kapp has organized such an event. Last year, the fraternity invited the band Dispatch to perform at the Electric Factory downtown -- and gathered $45,000 from the hands of Penn students and local Philadelphians. But Pi Kapp indicated that this time, by having the event on campus, they hope to facilitate a more comfortable environment, primarily targeted at Penn students. "I think it's going to be a lot of fun to have them on Penn's campus as opposed to downtown," Pi Kapp brother and College junior Dan Craig said. "I'm hoping that most of the kids will be even more excited." Pi Kapp Philanthropy Chairman and event organizer Steve Bursky focused on another perk of the event staying close to home -- the proximity of the event advertises the cause as being more immediate to the Penn community. "We want to breed some awareness for these charities on campus," Bursky said. Bursky leads his own music-management company -- called Foundations Artist Management -- and is able to attract such well-known musical guests to Penn's campus through his ties in the industry. "I asked [Guster] if they would do it for me, and they were happy to," Bursky said. Bursky noted that one of his main personal goals is to show that "a fraternity is a lot more than throwing big parties and getting in trouble. And this event is an indication of that." Pi Kapp brother and Wharton junior Bobby Schmidt also stressed the depth of the brotherhood that comes into focus during this event. "It's a great thing for the brotherhood to do," Schmidt said. "It's one of the few times during the year when we all get together, and everyone puts forth 100 percent effort." Greg Brown, a member of Guster's management team, expressed the band's enthusiasm on appearing at Penn's campus. Traveling up the East Coast from Atlanta, the band will be performing at many colleges along the way. However, Guster often performs at larger venues, and the members receive a paycheck for their entertainment -- but their performance at Penn will be completely nonprofit and, as Brown noted, they will be "playing for a different audience." Although the band performs at charity events on occasion, Brown referred to the event at Penn as an "untraditional play." Guster will be playing selections from the 12 songs debuting on its newest album, Keep it Together, which will be released in June. Some Penn students are already running to withdraw money for the event. Wharton freshman Greg Bryda is sure that he will be one of the 1,200 in attendance. "I'll be going," Bryda said. "I think no matter anyone's musical taste, they'll like Guster." Concert seating, however, will be limited. Brothers will be selling 600 tickets in the upcoming weeks for $20 each, and an additional 600 tickets will be up for grabs on Guster's Web site for $22.50 each. The concert is only part of the weekend's itinerary -- it complements the "Pack Your Bags" event, a raffle sponsored by STA Travel and whose proceeds also benefit the target charities. For this year's event, STA has offered a trip for two to Miami including airfare and hotel accommodations.
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