The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator


When UW-Eau Claire junior Carly Jo Budzynski learned that Bon Iver would be playing two shows at Zorn Arena in December, she was beyond thrilled.


“I was super pumped, super pumped.” Budzynski said. “I’ve been really into him since before I got to college, so I was very excited.”


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She also knew that tickets would be a hot commodity, so she and three friends camped out in front of Zorn Arena at 10:30 p.m. on Thursday, nearly nine hours before tickets went on sale at 7 a.m. Friday. Armed with a backpack full of candy, popcorn and games, Budzynski stuck it out and ended up with tickets for the December 12th show.


Budzynski was not the only person to wait in tents for hours for the chance to buy tickets. The announcement of the concerts, a homecoming of sorts for Bon Iver frontman and UW-Eau Claire alumnus Justin Vernon, created this type of excitement in a lot of Eau Claire students.


The University Activity Commission’s concert committee is in charge of hosting and promoting concerts on campus, but according to UAC Programming Director Kristi Basa, the organization faces a constant battle in acquiring name recognition on campus.


“People say, ‘oh, those concert people,’ but they don’t really know how we’re affiliated together as UAC,” Basa said.


The concert committee is responsible for booking the concerts at Zorn Arena as well as various other shows throughout the year.


Laura West and Sam Roedger serve as co-chairs and have about 15 people working for them on the committee. The concert committee does not book the shows for The Cabin, which has its own UAC committee.


Zorn Arena shows in the last few years include alternative rockers OK Go, which was a personal favorite of West’s.


However, West is hopeful that the previously unrivaled campus buzz around the Bon Iver show will bring greater student participation on the concert committee and in UAC in general.


“Hopefully this will get more people to join our committee because they will recognize that we do pretty cool things on campus,” West said.


The committee just put on a concert called Feed The Need, where five bands, including Minneapolis act Love Out Loud, performed in the Council Fire Room. The proceeds from the concert went toward the Feed My People Food Bank. Roedger enjoys putting together these types of concerts just as much as the larger arena shows.


“It’s kind of an intimate venue, there’s definitely something more that the crowd can take away versus a larger scale show,” Roedger said.


But there is no denying the campus response to the Bon Iver shows, which, according to West, completely sold out in about a week. Basa said right around 6000 tickets were sold between the two dates. Basa, West and Roedger all consider this a potentially huge boost to UAC’s financial flexibility and campus popularity.


As for Budzynski, she has no regrets about the long wait and said she would do it again in a heartbeat.


“Oh absolutely, it was fun. Everyone was in a really good mood,” Budzynski said.


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