Inside CEC’s Cornstock process

Save the date: Cornstock is set for Apr. 23, 2022.

Cornstock is a Campus Events Commission-sponsored event that brings in a musical artist to perform for the Concordia community. There has not been a Cornstock since the start of the pandemic, so for the first time in two years, CEC is officially bringing back this event.  

CEC’s lead commissioner Lance Morlock said, “For me the best part of Cornstock is getting to celebrate the end of the year with the entire student body and listen to some incredible music. There is always such a strong community bond at the event and I look forward to having that energy back on our campus.” 

The artist will be announced during the Battle of the Bands, which is scheduled for Mar. 24. During that competition, three student bands will be competing. Whichever band wins based on audience votes will be given the opportunity to open for the chosen cornstock artist. 

Besides the Battle winner, two openers and a headliner for 2022 have been selected.

When it comes to the selection process of the artists itself, it becomes a lot more secretive. Sophomore Kenzie Nelson is a part of the selection committee for Cornstock.

“Everyone in CEC makes a giant list of anybody and everybody they would be interested in having to play for Cornstock as if the sky’s the limit,” Nelson said.

Once CEC has a large group of artists, they start eliminating artists based on price or popularity. 

Moreover, the CEC staff try to be mindful of diversity when selecting artists. 

“As a group, we always want to make sure that we have a variation of artists in our selection process. When compiling our lists we make it to include artists of different genders and races. These lists are rigorous and we want to make sure that we are mindful of diversity every step of the way,” Morlock said.

After making a pooling of artists, the list is shuffled, prioritized and condensed until the top 40 artists are picked.

“Finally, at our Christmas party, we went through and each voted for about five groups we would want at Cornstock. Once we got to a small number, we listened to them for a bit and watched some performances. Then we worked together to create a list in order of who we would want, up to a top 20 or 30.” 

According to Morlock, it is necessary to create a large list and prioritize the ordering because some artists may not be available to come or decline the offer. This way the musical agent for CEC knows to prioritize the top 10 artists connections. 

Once the list is made, the CEC advisor Elizabeth Hart sends the list to a music agent that partners with CEC. The process of reaching out to artists, making bids and booking the artists is the longest part of planning for cornstock. 

Although it can be exciting, Nelson said, it is “so exciting to be ‘in the know,’” but at the same time, it is a lot of pressure. “They make it very clear that we are sworn to secrecy with our list of options. This is a big deal to Cobbers, so you don’t want to be the person that spoils the surprise.”

On a more logistical note, Morlock said, “We love to keep it a secret until our Battle of the Bands even to build suspense and guarantee (the artists) are completed and set in stone. We would never want to get the student body excited about an act only for it to fall through.”  

Even though he has not been able to attend a cornstock in the past two years due to the pandemic, Morlock attended Cornstock his first year of college, before he was even a Cobber.

“I was enrolled at a different college and made a trip back to Moorhead to visit some friends who were attending Cornstock. I tagged along with them to watch COIN and knew immediately I wanted to be a part of that community,” said Morlock. “It was truly a pivotal moment in deciding to transfer to Concordia.”

Cornstock will be held in Memorial Auditorium and is free to students, who are able to bring one guest with an ID.

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