American Authors to headline Bigelow Bash

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American Authors to headline Bigelow Bash

By Harrison Kaminsky / News Editor

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American Authors, an American rock band based in New York City, will headline the 20th annual Bigelow Bash on April 11, Pitt Program Council announced Monday. 

Bigelow Bash, which PPC organizes every spring semester, will now be held on a Saturday to make the concert more convenient to students, according to Kim Nguyen, PPC’s special events director. Magic Man, a synth-rock band based in New England, will accompany American Authors, as well as the winner of PPC’s Battle of the Bands, which will be held on March 18. The Bigelow Bash performances will begin at 1:30 p.m.   

American Authors, which formed in 2007 under the name The Blue Pages, released its debut single “Believer” in 2012. Its second single “Best Day of My Life” has been featured in television ads, movies and video games.

Magic Man formed in 2010 and released its first EP You Are Here in 2013, before signing with Columbia Records. It released its first album Before the Waves in 2014. 

Nguyen and her special events committee began planning for Bigelow Bash in October 2014, according to a PPC release. 

After coming up with a list of performers it believed would appeal to students at Pitt, PPC ultimately chose American Authors as the headliner. 

Because Coachella, a music and arts festival in Indio, Calif., is the same weekend as Bigelow Bash, PPC was limited in choosing artists that were available, the release said.

“We consider a wide variety of artists so we were not limited too much,” Jon Lehan, PPC’s executive director, said in an email.

Although PPC’s scope was more limited than usual, Lehan said PPC was not disappointed in its ultimate decision to go with American Authors. 

“We believe they are a well-known, well-liked artist that will attract a significant number of students,” Lehan said. 

Lehan said PPC was limited in its ability to change the date of Bigelow Bash as to not conflict with Coachella. 

“The number of available weekends was slim,” Lehan said. “Since Bigelow Bash is an outdoor show, the dates are then limited to late in the spring semester.”

Lehan said PPC did not settle for American Authors —  instead, it was the best fit. 

“They were on the initial list of potential artists the special events committee brainstormed, and, in the end, they were the best artist based on the combination of availability, pricing and popularity,” he said.

Lehan said in PPC’s release that it cannot disclose the price of the performance because of contract stipulations.

PPC often receives criticism following artist announcements for its concerts, and Nguyen said this is always a difficult position because, “you have to know that no matter who you choose to bring in for the concerts, there will be students who are displeased.”

According to Nguyen, PPC tries to avoid this problem by choosing an artist that appeals to the vast majority of the student population. 

“In the end, though, you have to know that there is no way to please everyone with one band choice,” she said. 

Lehan said PPC does not have an estimate of expected student attendance, but with the time change from 11 a.m. on Sunday to 1:30 p.m. on Saturday, Lehan hopes more students will be willing to attend the rain-or-shine event. 

“However, if we feel that we are putting the safety of the students at risk by hosting the show outdoors, we will consider cancelling,” he said. 

Lehan said PPC has another event planned to complement the musical aspect of Bigelow Bash. 

“We have not confirmed this new aspect of Bigelow Bash, but we are very excited for the possibility,” Lehan said. “Stay tuned for more information.”

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