Cram Jam concert costs students $125,000

KSA director of finance says larger-scale concert was “the will of the students.”

By Matt DiMera
[news editor]

The KSA’s beleaguered 2011 Cram Jam concert will end up costing students more than two and a half times what was originally budgeted at the beginning of the year.

According to a KSA draft statement the Cram Jam tab is currently at $125,692.79, as of Oct. 7; 150 per cent more than the $50,000 planned for in the 2011 budget. The final bill has still not been made public.

A brief financial history of Cram Jam from 2008-2011. (2011 Cram Jam numbers are current as of Oct. 7.)

The KSA council voted to raise the budget for their upcoming Cram Jam concert to nearly $82,000 at the Jun. 17 council meeting and then again at a later meeting to raise the budget to roughly $96,000.

In an Oct. 5 interview, KSA director of finance Nina Sandhu said the decision to spend more money on a larger-scale concert was “the will of the students.”

“Council, after the request of lots of students, decided to make Cram Jam a bigger budgeted event than what it was budgeted for. I know in the past, the budget was made a little smaller,” explained Sandhu. “Students were once again saying we want a bigger artist and so we decided this year let’s make the budget bigger and let’s go and bring them the artist they want to see and do it properly.”

Even when accounting for the adjusted budget, Cram Jam spending still went over by nearly $30,000. Revenues were also highly overestimated.

The budget approved by council, forecast nearly $50,000 in revenue. However the latest KSA draft estimates (as of Oct. 7) showed that Cram Jam 2011 revenues brought in only $7,100.

“When you have that many last-minute obstacles, changes, things that were totally out of our hands that we couldn’t control, it left us no choice but to spend a little extra here and there,” said Sandhu.

In his Sept. 28 report, KSA president and official spokesperson Harman “Sean Birdman” Bassi deemed Cram Jam a success.

“The best part of this event was the feedback; never have I seen KPU students so excited, thrilled, and appreciative,” wrote Bassi. “After completing such a large-scale event, there was a lot of respect earned from local student associations, which is going to open a lot of doors for the future.”

Bassi refused a request for an interview, when contacted by email Oct. 6.