Chamber waits to reveal headliner

By Danny Huizinga
and Caroline Brewton

Banners promoting the event are up around campus, but no announcement has yet been made as to who will headline Baylor’s Diadeloso celebration.

With Diadeloso coming up in less than a week and no headliner announced, students are left wondering what their entertainment will be.

“I feel like Chamber’s ambiguity concerning the headliner for Diadeloso is taking a huge gamble on attendance. People might not go if they don’t know that they’ll like who is playing,” said Travis Gidley, a Sugar Land junior.

Diadeloso, an annual holiday for students, will be held next Thursday. During Dia, students are entertained by a variety of shows, activities and sporting events, usually culminating in a performance by a headliner band.

Expectations are high. Chamber has been given an increased amount of funding by student government to find quality entertainment. According to student government Internal Vice President Brian Kim, Chamber was given $90,000 for entertainment for this year’s event. The figure is meant to cover total entertainment costs and not just the headliner. This is almost four times the amount budgeted for Diadeloso 2012, when Chamber was allocated only $25,000 for entertainment expenses.

Furthermore, Kim said, the process was made easier for Chamber to secure the funds this year. Prior to this year, Chamber had to fill out a formal application for funds, just like any other student organization. At the beginning of this year, however, student government voted to grant the increased funds to Chamber in a special allocation for Diadeloso without requiring the application process. This took place on Sept. 6 of last year.

“By giving them the money at the beginning of the year, this allowed for Chamber to have more time to book an artist,” said one senator, who spoke on condition of anonymity. The intent was for Chamber to use the increased resources to secure a more popular artist than the one who performed last year, the senator said.

Last year, the headliner band, Parachute, was announced by March 27, a full 24 days before Diadeloso. In previous years, the event’s details were also released sooner. In 2011, country artist Jack Ingram was chosen and announced by March 24. Well-known artist Colbie Callait played at Dia in 2010. Details of her concert were released as early as April 8 for the April 22 event.

Pauline Minnaar, the Diadeloso chair for the Baylor Chamber of Commerce, the organization in charge of the event, said the decision to delay the headliner’s announcement was due to an intentional publicity strategy developed by Chamber. At this time, the headliner has already been determined and confirmed, Minnaar said. Minnaar said Chamber was planning to release information about the event tomorrow.

“When we start planning for the event, we have to start planning for 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. The headliner is a big part of that, but it’s not the entire day,” Minnaar said. “So we spent a lot of time focusing on the other things that were going on and wanted to publicize that stuff and get people excited about that, and hopefully create this idea that Dia is about more than just a person who plays a concert for an hour.”

Some information about Dia entertainment has already been released and is shown on banners throughout campus, including one that promotes the performance of a magician and one that advertises that students will be able to take pictures with a live monkey. The decision to delay the announcement was made not to build suspense for the headliner, but to increase publicity for other activities like these at the event, Minnaar said.

In fact, it’s Gidley’s mentality ­— that students would attend Dia only to see the headliner band — that Chamber hopes to fight against.

“We want people to focus on the day as a whole,” Chamber President T. J. Hales said.“It’s tough when it’s the headliner because people want to know, but we’re emphasizing the day as a whole.”

The delay in the announcement has led to frustration for some.

“I look forward to the musical performances on Dia every year. I’m frustrated that Chamber has yet to announce of the headliner,” Dustin Rutledge, a senior from Richardson, said. Gidley said he believes the event would attract more students with an earlier announcement about the headliner performance.

“Even if the performance blows everyone who attends away, it would attract more students if we knew what to expect,” he said.