What’s with the public concerts on-campus?

Zoya Azhar ’20
Assistant Opinions Editor



I adore concerts and am always actively searching for opportunities to attend them. It doesn’t matter whether it’s a Jittery’s Live performance, and you need to slide around on the bright orange of the CC furniture as you listen, or an obscure Australian band in a pitch black room over on Pearl Street, playing for (at most) 50 people. Concerts in Northampton are a rewarding experience.


But I wasn’t sure how I felt about Smith renting out John M. Greene Hall as a performance venue to two groups in the past month or so.



First, there were the buses. Huge buses crowded the path behind JMG with their unwanted but curious presence. I saw Smithies rolling their eyes as they clutched their iced coffees on the way from the CC, navigating their way around the buses.  It was so inconvenient! And to make matters worse, we weren’t even invited to the concert.



Then there was the noise.



On the one hand, my Green Street friends who (I want to point out) live on the other end of campus told me, “Don’t complain about things happening on this sleepy campus!” and other such unhelpful statements, as I struggled to read an article about neurological disorders while the Pixies yelled outside my window. And I understood where they were coming from. Maybe if more things came to us in little old Northampton, my friends and I wouldn’t have to spend money to get to New York and smell the metropolitan garbage as we walk around looking for exciting things to do. It’s so rare to see big things happening in Northampton that we’ll take whatever we get.



On the other hand, I wondered why so many people liked a band that sounded so terrible live.


And why they had to choose to perform terribly on an unusually hot weeknight in September when I had to keep my window open. It seemed highly irresponsible of the people in charge of renting JMG out, to allow for a weeknight concert on campus.



It also upset me that the Smith student body had no say in whether our campus should be used for an event by the public. We were assumed to not have opinions on the matter and I assure you, Smithies always have opinions.


And to add insult to injury, these concert tickets were nearly $50 which made it inaccessible to me even if I did have a closeted obsession with the Pixies, because now all the excess money I earn from my minimum wage job go towards affording the CC Café prices!


I want Smith administration to know my study of neurological disorders and my personal space suffered that night, and I hold the Pixies accountable for this. In the future, I sincerely hope more is done to take Smithie opinions in account when planning on-campus events for the Northampton public.