Multiple students say this year's Spring Fling concert — a "throwback show" featuring performances by CupcakKe, Sage the Gemini, JoJo, and The All-American Rejects — seemed to have a lower turnout rate than in previous years.
However, the Social Planning and Events Committee, which is in charge of organizing the annual event, declined to reveal the number of tickets sold and would not comment on the number of people in attendance.
Wharton junior and Co-chair of SPEC’s Concerts committee Elizabeth Goran said SPEC did not track how many people attended the concert. She also declined to comment on how many tickets were sold.
"We do not, and have never commented on our final ticket sales for as long as I can remember," she said. "Ticket sales do not necessarily match the actual number of people who show up, so giving you that information would be inaccurate."
Fling saw several significant changes this year. The venue changed from the historic Quad location to Penn Park, breaking a 45-year-old tradition. In addition, the event was condensed from two days to just one day this year.
College freshman Zoe Osborne said she thinks only one-third to one-half of the space set aside for concertgoers at Penn Park was actually filled. She added that the crowd extended about 40 feet back from the stage, but a much larger area had been set aside.
“It was definitely not full,” she said.
College freshman Lorenza Colagrossi said she had a similar impression.
“The space was huge and massive and only one-third of the section was actually used for people to stand on,” she said. “It was definitely not as full as I expected.”
Colagrossi added that more people arrived as the concert continued, but many left early because it became cold and windy in the middle of the show.
“I know a lot of my friends who are upperclassmen mentioned that it was significantly less full than it was [in previous years],” she added.
College sophomore Jessica Li, a columnist at The Daily Pennsylvanian, attended the concert last year as well as this year and said she thought fewer people attended.
"I think the amount of people that came was definitely less," she said. "A lot of my friends didn't go compared to last year."
Despite the fact that last year's concert was also held at the same venue in Penn Park, Goran said comparing this year's ticket sales to previous years' would be "invalid and fruitless." Before last year, the concert was held in Franklin Field.
Despite the reported decrease in turnout, some of the students who chose to attend the concert said they enjoyed their experience.
Colagrossi said she was a “huge fan of The All-American Rejects” and that she “enjoyed it more than [she] thought [she] would.”
Some students chose not to attend Fling because they said they were unenthusiastic about the performers. In the weeks leading up to Fling, students had expressed mixed thoughts on the concert's lineup.
College and Engineering freshman Angela Yang said she attended neither the concert nor the Saturday events in Penn Park.
“I was only interested in maybe two of the artists,” she said. “I felt like it wasn’t really a full use of my money.”
“I wish I went for the free food, though,” Yang added, referring to the daytime event at the park, where SPEC provided bouncy houses, student performances, and free food, which included popsicles, tacos, dumplings, and more.
According to SPEC, the attendance of the daytime activities at Spring Fling saw an increase this year.
While SPEC Concerts did not track turnout to the concert, the Spring Fling committee, which was in charge of planning the daytime event, did. College sophomore Christopher Mountanos, who is the co-director of the Spring Fling committee, said in an emailed statement that far more students attended the Saturday event in Penn Park than in previous years.
Mountanos, a social media staffer for the DP, said that over 3,300 students attended the Saturday event compared to approximately 1,000-2,500 in previous years, when Fling's daytime events were held at the Quad. The previous years' attendance rates are based on "food orders and general observation," however.
He added that the increase in turnout was particularly impressive because this year’s event was reduced to one day.
"[We] have not had close to 3,300 people during one day of Fling. Essentially, we had a much greater turnout [than in the] past couple of years," Mountanos said.
However, Osborne, who was also at the daytime event, said that while the event had "decent turnout," she felt there could have been more people.
“I can understand why people were mad that it was moved [from the Quad]," she said, adding that the distance of Penn Park from the rest of campus prevented people from leaving the event and coming back.