By Emma Sandri
Most universities host an annual concert in the fall, but Ryerson University students will have to wait until winter for a concert organized by the Ryerson Students’ Union (RSU).
The LitFest concert, originally scheduled for Sept. 14, has been delayed until January due to “multiple factors,” according to RSU president Ram Ganesh.
The LitFest concert is projected to take place between Jan. 18 and 24, Ganesh said.
“At Ryerson, we have had Drake, Future, Miguel, Nas—some of the hottest hip-hop talents in the past few years, and we want to be able to provide that quality of an event to students. So expect something big around that time,” he added.
The event, however, has been pushed back four months since the RSU has been “a little bit under-prepared,” Ganesh said.
Due to sudden construction closures on campus, which forced the RSU to scramble to rearrange welcome week activities, Ganesh said the RSU originally planned to push the concert to October. That plan was later scrapped since they didn’t want LitFest to interfere with the Ryerson and Toronto Argonauts homecoming (HOCO) game, which was held over reading week on Oct. 12.
Next year’s concert will be put on by Loud Fest, a company which is independent of the RSU.
“It’s not a concert that we’re doing, we’re not responsible for the operations, or the management or the finances,” said Ganesh. “This concert was always supposed to happen, we just bulk-purchased like 85 per cent of the tickets.”
A small focus-group conducted by the RSU found Ryerson students were unsure of the differences between HOCO and LitFest and were disappointed by ticket costs.
“We had two options: either we postpone it later in the year, which would then fall during Halloween or we move it to winter week of welcome,” said Ganesh. “The problem with moving it to Halloween is we have a [U-Pass] referendum scheduled, and we don’t want to get into trouble with the Board of Governors saying we’re throwing a party.”
Other delays to the concert centred around the issue of getting venue and event permits from the City of Toronto, Ganesh said.
“The city and Toronto police have been … taking all sorts of precautionary measures when it comes to keeping people safe,” said Ganesh. In October 2016, the RSU organized the controversial 6 Fest, which contributed to a $1.2 million deficit for the students’ union.
“We do not want a repeat of 6 Fest,” said Ganesh.
During the planning of the concert, $80,000 was transferred into the personal bank accounts of RSU staff, as well as Ganesh, who was not a staff member at that time.
In addition to live music, LitFest will have sober spaces provided for students. Farrah Khan from Consent Comes First at Ryerson will also have a booth set up.
Both the venue and performers have yet to be announced.
Tickets for the upcoming concert will be provided to students at a subsidized cost.