The Undergraduate Council last night voted unaminously to give $12,200 and a "serious manpower commitment" to aid the effort by the Student Production Association (SPA) to snare British new wave star Elvis Costello for a one night show at Harvard.
After 20 minutes of debate about the risk of giving such a large sum of money to SPA, council members said they were swayed by the possibility of making as much as $15,000 from a sold-out show.
Members said they hope to use the profits to create a social activities fund which would promote future campus-wide events.
"We feel confident we can sell a lot of tickets for this show and have our profits go to setting up a fund for future events and concerts so we wouldn't have to shell out this lump sum again," said council member Thomas D. Warren '88.
"This show is not only for our constituents,not only for the community, but for future, evenlarger events," added Michael L. Goldenberg '88,social committee chairman.
Council Chairman Richard S. Eisert '88 said hethinks the concert, to be held in Bright Center onMay 1, is very likely to generate a great profitfor the council.
"I think this is a great show for Harvard. Thelast time Costello was in town he sold out threestraight nights at the Orpheum," said Eisert.
SPA members said they were relieved that theirrequest for financial and staff aid passed throughthe council without a hitch, and are confident itwill meet with similar approval from theadministration.
"I think our situation looks really good withthe council's support, now it's totally up to theadministration," said SPA co-chairman JillHarrison '90.
"They [the administration] have been veryhelpful all along, now with council supportthey'll want to look at all the fine details andthen I think they'll approve it," said SPA memberJames H. Chung '88.
Members of the SPA also said, however, thatwhile they are very confident that a Costelloconcert will receive administration approval theyare still concerned such approval may be slow incoming and therefore hurt their chance tosuccessfully book the rock star.
Chung added that he is "very concerned about adelay on the part of the administration. If we'redelayed even a few hours someone else might bidand take our date away from us."
Harrison, expressed the same concerns. "Itsalready late and most of Costello's dates arealready booked. Hours make a difference," shesaid.
Eisert will meet with administrators tomorrowon behalf of SPA to secure approval of the show.
"I've touched base with the administration atleast eight times about the concert so this willbe no surprise to them," said Eisert. "I'm goingto double-check with them tomorrow. And I don'tthink the administration will have any problemswith the concert of Costello," added Eisert.
Both council and SPA members feel this concertis a turning point in the future of concerts atHarvard.
"The council is willing to take the risk, butif [the concert] doesn't work out odds are we mayhave to wait another three years for anotherconcert," said Eisert. He added that "this is akind of trial event, if we have good results thenwe'll have more big concerts and probably evennext year."
"If this concert works out the [music] industrywill think of Harvard as a place they can put onconcerts," said SPA co-chairman Jeff A. Nachmanoff'89. "But if it fails it would be very difficultto forsee efforts on parts of the students or theindustry to work on this type of event in thefuture," he said