FAU brings Grammy-nominated country artist for its first-ever outdoor Homecoming concert

Michelle Ferrand

James Otto recently parted ways with Warner Music after being signed for three years. The album "Shake What God Gave Ya" peaked at No. 10 on the Billboard‘s list of top country albums in 2010. Photo courtsey of Kristen Barlowe.

Program Board is calling out to all country music fans by presenting artist James Otto at this year’s outdoor Homecoming concert.

Otto is an established artist who has been nominated for a Grammy for Best Country Song and Best Male Country Vocal Performance and has also won Song of the Year from the Academy of Country Music for co-writing the song “In Color.”

So how did FAU end up choosing a country artist to perform at the Homecoming concert?

April Turner, Homecoming director, said the Homecoming Committee considered what students were currently listening to when they picked him. According to her, they “contacted various student organizations over the summer and asked what they were into.”

The committee sent its budget for the concert — which would be around $10,000, considering that is how much one of Otto’s performances costs — to Concert Ideas, a booking agency for college entertainment. Otto was then chosen from a list the company made.

Judging by the constant Homecoming Facebook page updates and all the flyers going around, one would think that everyone knows about it.

“I didn’t even know we were having a Homecoming concert,” said Donald Danos, a sophomore accounting major. But after doing a quick search and listening to some of Otto’s music, Danos said he “wouldn’t mind going for a while.”

When the UP contacted Otto’s publicist to ask whether Otto had played on college campuses before, she said, “James is a touring musician, and I’m sure he’s played a couple of concerts at universities before, but I don’t know exactly where.”

Otto couldn’t be reached for a comment.

Earlier in the week, his publicist said in an email to the UP that she had “double-checked James’ tour schedule and it doesn’t look like he’s confirmed to play at [FAU].”

But it turned out to be a minor mishap. A follow-up email from Otto’s publicist explained that “the event had not yet been added to his calendar … but has since been added and he is scheduled to perform [FAU].”

The Homecoming concert is set to take place on Thursday, Nov. 3, at 9 p.m. at the outdoor stage behind the Student Union at the Boca campus.

The concert is free for all FAU students. All you need is your Owl Card.

Visit www.fau.edu/homecoming for more information.