It takes 21 students and $63,000 to make Volapalooza happen.
The annual concert, held each April on the last day of classes, is the largest student-organized event on campus. Money handed down from the University Programs and Services Fee Funding Board to the Central Programming Council's Volapalooza Event Planners committee funds everything from staging and lighting to hospitality and artists' fees.
"Sponsorships and rollover revenue can potentially add to this baseline, but none of that is guaranteed," Anna Walsh, junior in biology and committee chair of Volapalooza Event Planners, said. "If we don't break even or garner sponsorships, then all we have is the minimum given by CPC."
Restricted by the current budget, Walsh said the committee struggles to provide a performer "that satisfies the desires of the students."
"Most other groups start with a budget that, to a certain extent, matches community expectations for what they are able to bring to campus," Keith Becklin, assistant director for the Office of Student Activities, said. "On the other hand, Volapalooza is expected to bring in huge names, which comes with huge price tags, which is something we can't match."
This spring's Volapalooza lineup is Fitz and The Tantrums with The Dirty Guv'nahs and The Delta Saints, breaking from the tone of previous years.
Student feedback and ideas from the committee sparked this shift in atmosphere.
"We chose this year's artists because they fit with the results of the survey that was sent out by the Office of Student Activities," Walsh said. "Another aspect that went into choosing these artists was the committee's wish to change Volapalooza from what it has been in the past few years. We wanted to have a cohesive sound on the stage this year."
Ultimately, the committee strived to match student expectations with an act within the event's allotted budget.
"The key is finding a good lineup at the right price," Becklin said. "We can't please everyone, but we can do a better job of pleasing more people over the course of their four years at UT."
Despite the scale of this undertaking, Becklin said he views the limited size of the Event Planners committee as an advantage.
"I wouldn't want to see the committee expand beyond the current capacity," Becklin said. "We have great members that are passionate about the event and music, but growing beyond the current size can actually hinder speed and agility of making decisions. If anything, the committee may benefit from fewer members.
"That being said, this is a student-run committee that makes their own decisions with staff guidance."
David Brown, senior in environmental studies and member of the Volapalooza committee, has enjoyed his role in coordinating the event from its earliest stages of brainstorming to its current preparations.
"Everybody loves the entertainment industry," Brown said, "and to be responsible for the final event on UT's campus is a really big deal.
"It's just a great experience."