Recently, there have been a lot of rumors circulating around the student body regarding PlayHard Productions, most specifically surrounding the funding they receive from the school.
Juxtaposed with the dwindling Llamapalooza funds, some students have been outraged about the special event funding PHP has collected from CCSGA.
Ross Palmer and Robert Waldeck originally founded the student entertainment group in 2005, but PlayHard Productions has been in operation under its current name since 2011. Since 2011, the current manifestation of the group has put on seven events with an average attendance of five hundred students.
In an official statement issued by PlayHard Productions, they said their goal “is to organize fun, safe, and creative events that CC’s student body will enjoy,” specifically through the mode of electronic dance music.
“In regards to including other genres of music, we feel that PlayHard’s central purpose is to promote dance music,” the statement said. “There are many other student groups that provide outlets for other styles of music and we appreciate being a part of a community that values a diverse range of music genres.”
Over the past year, the CCSGA Special Events Fund has allocated $13,650 to PHP for electronic dance events. Their event this fall, called “BUMP,” received $2,250; Ice Age, in December, received $6,400; and Metamorphosis, this month, received $5,000.
“PlayHard productions received Special Events funding for their events like any other group on campus,” said Stanley Sigalov, financial vice president of the CCSGA. “The Finance Committee does their best to treat every event independent from any other event.”
Bethany Grubbs, student life specialist for campus activities, echoed Sigalov’s initial statement.
“[PHP] receives no funding from Campus Activities and [they] have to petition CCSGA for special events funding for each of their events,” she said. “They work with me to build detailed budgets for each event and then take their requests to the finance committee. It would be a mistake to believe that they have any additional control over how CCSGA allocates their funds.”
The majority of each event’s funds goes towards security, which is mandated by the school. Metamorphosis had twelve security guards on staff for four hours with an hourly rate of $27 per hour, which accounted for a little more than one-fifth of their budget.
The group spends another good chunk of their funds on sound systems and lights.
PHP’s most expensive event this year, Ice Age, was the result of a solicitation by Campus Events who felt they were responsible enough to take on a traditionally school-organized event. They were given the choice between Halloween and Ice Age, but chose Ice Age because Halloween fell during the week this year.
Grubbs affirmed the good standing that PlayHard has with the administration.
“I support them in their efforts and appreciate their professionalism as event planners,” she said. “I believe they are good stewards of the funding they are granted, and make efforts to use their money wisely. I have been continually impressed by what they can do with relatively small amounts of money and a lot of creativity.”
Students continue to be up-in-arms at the idea that PlayHard Productions takes away from the Llamapalooza.
“The notion that PlayHard Productions took funds away from the Llamapalooza committee is only as valid as Blues & Shoes or Dan Savage taking funds away from Llama,” Sigalov said. “These events are only tied by the fact that their financing comes from the Special Events fund. Therefore, the claim that a certain group or event specifically took funds away from another group or event is ridiculous.”
“Llamapalooza may be struggling to raise the money it needs, but blame for that cannot be placed on PlayHard,” Grubbs said.
PlayHard Productions declined to comment specifically on the monetary situation of Llamapalooza.
“With regard to the recent remarks concerning PlayHard’s funding, we sympathize with the concerns of the student body,” representatives said. “Unfortunately, this is an issue of funding allocation within student government. As stated above, the finance committee exercises complete control over our budget. We respect the decisions of student government and truly believe that they, like us, have the best interest of the student body at heart. We are always grateful for the funding that we do receive, and strive to produce the best events possible.”
While the gossip surrounding PlayHard Productions seems to be largely unfounded, it alludes to a larger issue of how the distribution of event funding is decided.
“I think there is a discrepancy between what students want and what CCSGA is paying for,” sophomore Whitney Perry said.
Ming Lee Newcomb