Lumineers’ concert poses problem

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Many students taking advantage of the Dallas Year deal found themselves conflicted over the band’s recent announcement. Photo by Paulina Martin.

Starting at 4:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 21, students lined the hallway leading from the Cap Bar to the Student Activities and Leadership Center (SALC) in the hopes of purchasing discounted tickets to see The Lumineers through Dallas Year a week later on Tuesday, Feb. 28.

Tickets went on sale at 10 a.m. Wednesday morning for $15, with around 40 students having spent the night in the hallway, scattering the floor with pillows, blankets and tangles of laptop chargers.

On Wednesday morning, Dallas Year quickly sold out of the 51 tickets it had acquired for the event.

Then, on Friday morning, The Lumineers announced on various social media platforms that they would be donating all profits from their Dallas concert to Planned Parenthood in response to recent efforts in Texas legislation to stop taxpayer money from funding the clinics.

However, this announcement raised an ethical dilemma for the many pro-life students on campus who purchased tickets, as well as for the Dallas Year coordinators.

It was especially troubling for them that the announcement was made after most people had already purchased tickets for the concert.

“When we bought these tickets, we did not buy them with a political agenda or to help make a statement with The Lumineers,”  Director of Student Activities and Recreational Services Catherine Duplant said.

In conjunction with Dallas Year coordinator Bethany Berry, Duplant’s first reaction was to attempt to get a refund for all tickets through the Verizon Theatre, the venue for the concert, through which Dallas Year had attained the tickets.

Despite Duplant’s argument that paying for the tickets would contradict the values of the university, the theater held to its policy forbidding refunds.

On Monday, Feb. 27, Dallas Year sent out an email to every student who had bought tickets through the school offering to refund them their tickets should they so choose, if they replied to the email by 3 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 28.

However, the event would go on as scheduled.

Freshman Jonathan Roach was fifth in line for tickets, having waited for 16 hours.

On Friday he found out of The Lumineers’ announcement via Facebook.

“I was just a little uneasy about when they made their announcement because it was after everyone had bought their tickets,” Roach said. “Unfortunately we’ve already paid our money so whether you go or not the money is already theirs.”

After long consideration, Roach decided he would still go to the concert.

“If I, like some people, say that I’m not going to the concert, basically I’m just giving Planned Parenthood a donation,” Roach said. “Not going could show that I don’t support it, but at the end of the day they still have my money.”

Junior Peter DeTar was the third person in line for tickets through Dallas Year; however, after hearing the announcement, he has decided not only that he would not go to the concert, but that he will no longer support The Lumineers through any future concerts or albums.

“I will not go, and I hope other people choose not to go as well,” DeTar said. “Because, especially with recent developments in the fight for pro-life movements in the U.S., I feel like we can’t capitulate in these small moments because they’re starting to add up and have a lot more meaning now that we have a pro-life president. Now is the time to actually hold to our ideals more than ever.”

Junior Ellen Rogers also decided not to attend, despite waiting in line for tickets for 18 hours. She was the second person in line.

“I was very upset and I was really surprised that they would make that sort of announcement so close to the concert,” Rogers said. “It felt very underhanded and manipulative of the people that had already bought tickets”

It was a very difficult decision for Rogers, because the band’s music means a lot to her.

She will continue to listen to The Lumineers, however, because her primary concern was what was being done with the profits from this specific concert.

“I’m more upset that the state of things are such that your artistic tastes can no longer be separate from your ideological or political beliefs,” Rogers said. “I’m upset that they robbed their fans of the choice to keep those things separate. It honestly just cheapens their work. It turns their concert into a fundraiser.”

Rogers appreciated the way in which Dallas Year had handled the situation, by allowing those who wanted to attend the concert to do so, while still offering refunds to those who were uncomfortable.

There were some who were glad to hear of the band’s decision to donate to Planned Parenthood, like junior Anissa Nash. Nash bought her tickets on her own before they went on sale through Dallas Year.

“To be totally honest, I was happy to hear that [T]he Lumineers made the decision to donate to PP,” Nash said over Facebook message. “I’m the type of person that doesn’t mind when ‘celebrities’ are open about which organizations or even politics that they support. But I do understand why some people might be angry about the band’s decision to donate to PP — even if I don’t feel the same way myself about PP that most of the UD population does — because there are certain organizations I don’t support and would really dislike seeing my money go towards.”

As of the 3 p.m. deadline on Tuesday, Feb. 28, 14 students had emailed Dallas Year asking for refunds.

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