Students react with mixed emotions to SG’s ‘ambitious’ Halsey concert

SG collaborated with Live Nation to bring 600 free tickets to students, but faced a few problems including sending tickets to students only a few hours before the show.


Jordan Kenney

Halsey performing for FAU students at iTHINK Financial Amphitheater.

Kizzy Azcarate, Student Life Editor

The Student Government (SG) Instagram account posted a story on May 12, around noon that the first 500 students would be able to claim a free ticket to Halsey’s concert.

However, by the day of the concert, May 17, many students had not received confirmation of their ticket.

Pierce Kennamer’s term as student body president officially began last week when he gained access to the president’s official email.

“I took notice of a recent unread email addressed to the previous administration from LiveNation wanting to work with FAU on sending students to the Halsey concert free of charge,” said Kennamer in an email. “While operating on a short notice, we did want to take advantage of this opportunity.”

According to Kennamer, LiveNation granted 500 free tickets to FAU students.

“No A&S [activity and service] fees were spent on this event, the tickets were completely free to SG and thereby free to students, so a total of $0 was spent,” Kennamer said.

Kennamer said there was such a high volume of students requesting tickets that his administration asked Live Nation for 100 more free tickets to give out to students.

Yet, many students were unable to attend Halsey’s concert because they received their tickets on short notice.

Newkirk with friends at the Halsey concert. (Elijah Newkirk)

“The biggest challenge/issue was that each ticket had to be individually transferred from LiveNation’s ticketmaster website,” said Kennamer. “All 600 tickets had to be sent, one-by-one, to every student email from our ticketmaster on one computer, which took a total of 13 hours nonstop (from 4 a.m.-5 p.m.).”

Sophomore theater major Carter Klein was unable to attend because he received his confirmation the day of the concert.

“I got [the ticket] at 12 or 12:30 p.m. the day of but I had to transfer my ticket to one of my friends because I couldn’t attend at that point,” said Klein. “I was excited. I’ve only been to one other concert in my life. This would be a good warm up for future concerts.”

Like Klein, this was a new experience for another student. Jordan Kenney, currently a sophomore, has been a fan of Halsey’s since middle school.

“Oh, my God. Meeting her in person is indescribable,” Kenney said. “Obviously, I wasn’t in the pit but even the view that I had was amazing and seeing her performing after five years of not having a tour, having a kid, and all the surgeries was amazing.”

As for her first concert ever, Kenney became anxious that she may not have the opportunity to attend.

“Having to wait all that time, I was scared I wasn’t going to get it. My friend couldn’t go, so he ended up giving me his ticket, so I used that one,” Kenney said. “Later, I got my ticket which allowed me to have a closer seat.”

Kenney says that Halsey performed a variety of their discography as far back as their “Badlands” album from 2015. She also mentioned that the singer took time out of their set to talk about social issues affecting Floridians today.

“They really voiced their opinion, saying ‘it’s our body, our choice’ kind of thing,” Kenney said.

Halsey has been open about their previous miscarriages, surgical procedures to treat their endometriosis, and announced that her pronouns are “she/they” on Instagram and Twitter.

Senior music composition major Elijah Newkirk was one of the students who didn’t let the late notice stop him from attending.

As an avid concert goer, Newkirk’s plans had to change because he received his ticket at 3:30 p.m.

“We were getting really worried and I had basically planned my day around it,” said Newkirk. “I had no idea if I was going to get tickets or not because I hadn’t heard anything.”

Newkirk is used to going to a concert or show one to two times a week with his friends. “We had plans to pick up a friend who lived a few hours away but that didn’t happen because we didn’t know if we were going to get tickets or not,” he said.

As for the concert, Newkirk says Halsey was a “terrific performer,” but he was disappointed that he missed opening acts Beabadoobee and PinkPantheress.

He also mentioned that the lawn area, where the free ticket section was, was packed compared to attendees who had bought seats.

“The crowd is a little sparse closer up in the more expensive ticket section,” Newkirk said.

Across Klein, Kenney, and Newkirk, they all agreed that if SG were to create an event like this again, SG should consider giving students at least a week or two notice with tickets sent out before the day of the concert. Kennamer agreed with their requests.

“LiveNation made no indication of this being reoccurring, rather being a one-time event; moving forward, if LiveNation would like to offer FAU students free tickets again through SG, we would ideally accept contingent on having applicable notice,” said Kennamer.

Kizzy Azcarate is the Student Life Editor for the University Press. For information regarding this or other stories, tweet her @Kizzy_kinz or [email protected]