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Commentary: College tours help musicians reach younger crowd, bigger audiences for reasonable price

Tim Kubick / For The Lantern

With diets that consist of a lot of Ramen noodles and Raising Cane’s chicken, college students as a demographic aren’t known for having a lot of money. So when artists and musicians launch college tours specifically aimed at students, it’s important for tickets to be a reasonable price. 

The college market (despite its broke status) is one to be tapped for musicians. 

Kid Cudi has been doing mini college tours prior to the release of his third studio album “Indicud,” which is scheduled to drop on April 16. 

Kendrick Lamar and Steve Aoki came through Columbus on Thursday on their way to Athens, Ohio, for 11Fest on Saturday as part of Verge Campus Tour. 

As part of Club Life College Invasion Tour, TiÃsto visited 14 college campuses throughout 2013. 

J. Cole had his College Consciousness Tour in 2012, and Drake announced in 2012 his Club Paradise tour, where he would visit about 15 college campuses across the nation. 

The tour wasn’t part of the grand plan for Drake’s agents, either. 

“I fought for this tour, I fought really hard for this tour because, of course, they want me to go get the big bucks, go into the stadiums and cash out,” Drake said in an interview with MTV. “But I was just like, ‘I really made this album for the same people that supported me since day one.'”

For Drake’s college tour, prices ranged from $35 to $80 depending on seat location, with student discounts available at many schools, dropping prices to as low as $15. When the rapper ended his American segment of the tour and went to Europe, tickets began at roughly $60 (£39.50). Similarly, TiÃsto’s Club Life College Invasion Tour tickets started at $28 when he came to Columbus, but at his show in Chihuahua, Mexico on May 9, general admission tickets begin at roughly $50 ($600 pesos).

Musicians who choose to hit college campuses are usually artists who are going to appeal to a younger crowd. As much as I would love to see it, I can’t imagine my mom jamming at a Drake concert.

With these college tours, the tickets might be cheaper, but the crowds are bigger and the fans are better. The bandwagon effect goes into place – one friend wants to go to a concert and the rest follow. 

With arenas full of twenty-somethings, musicians are grabbing the attention of a lot of fans that wouldn’t have jumped at a ticket that exceeds the $50 range. 

But specifically catering to a younger audience also means a different vibe for the crowd in general. Ever been to a concert where the audience is all over the age of 35 years old? They like to sit. 

Most college students don’t have that same mindset. A typically younger crowd with an artist that’s creating music aimed at students in particular is going to be a crazier concert with more wild fans. 

Even with the lower price point on tickets, college tours are allowing artists and musicians to perform for bigger audiences, making it lucrative enough to hit just campus areas on a tour. 

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