Kellie Pickler, Joshua Henson and Ryan Ochsner perform a song at one of their concerts.
As the days get longer and the weather gets warmer, college students get more and more restless, and they’re not content to spend their days locked inside cramming for finals. What better way to give them a taste of summer than with a concert?
The Loper Programming and Activities Council (LPAC) has brought a variety of entertainment to UNK this year, including Reza the Illusionist, Jim Wand and now a very special guest, country artist Kellie Pickler.
Pickler, who reached super stardom on “American Idol” with hits like “Red High Heels” and “Best Days of Your Life,” will be performing at UNK on April 22. Megan Mullins, a fresh face on the country music scene, will be Pickler’s opening act.
“We try to get someone with name recognition who the students will like and will grab their attention. We try to look at different artists that will be available at the time and in our price range,” said Tim Danube, associate director of the student union.
With two successful albums and three Country Music Television awards under her belt, Danube hopes that Pickler will draw a record crowd of over 3,000 people. “The students bring it to campus for the students’ enjoyment. We hope to draw the community out as well to these big events,” Danube said.
LPAC hopes this event will show students all that UNK has to offer. As Danube said, “Hopefully this is something good for students that are here, and they will realize that besides the academic benefits, UNK has a lot to offer outside the classroom.”
Brittney Hagan, a senior education major from Culbertson and the chairperson of LPAC’s Main-Stage Committee agrees. “I think it helps to show college students to come back to UNK next year. We do a lot of things at UNK, and it makes it a fun environment. If we draw a lot of the community and high school students from around the area, maybe they will consider coming to UNK.”
LPAC had originally planned to have Billy Currington perform at UNK, but due to a show booked here this summer, the negotiations fell through. With Pickler’s name still on the table, the pieces fell into place. “It was really close to get her here as she is touring with Taylor Swift right now. They have quite a few dates set up, but this was one date that there was enough space between her other concerts so that she could perform here,” Danube said.
As each year winds down, LPAC does their best to end the year with a bang. Last year rock bands The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus and Secondhand Serenade performed to a full house of over 2,500.