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U Michigan Eliminates Concert Office

(CelebrityAccess News Service) — State budget cuts have forced the closing of the University of Michigan's Major Events Office which has presented concerts at the university, Hill Auditorium and Crisler Arena since 1975, reports Ann Arbor News. A new, scaled-down operation will be created with programming geared more specifically to the students.

"We're focusing events around our core mission, serving students first," Loren J. Rullman, director of University Unions. Rullman noted that more non-students have been buying tickets to their concerts in recent years and cited that only 5 percent of the tickets for Bob Dylan's show at Crisler Arena last year were purchased by students.

Dave Clark, Clear Channel Entertainment's regional vice president for marketing told the paper it was too early to see what impact the office's closing will have on the local music scene, but they're ready "if we can get the dates available to bring in a show that makes sense
for the student body."

According to Rullman, Major Events loses between $50,000 and $150,000 a year, "depending on the success of the events that have been presented." The office used to generate money that went back into the operation, but it hasn't done that for many years," he said.

As a result of Major Event's closing, the director's position, held by Kevin Gilmartin since 1983, has been eliminated. Two other staff positions, including sales and promotion coordinator will be coordinated into the new operation. The new operation will also continue
to work with the non-profit acoustic venue The Ark.

"There are some commitments we think are important to maintain," Rullman said. "We already have an agreement in place with them, and there's considerable campus interest." — edited by Jane Cohen and Bob Grossweiner