Guest Star: "It Was All About What I Was Willing To Give [To Jay-Z]"

Monday, Aug 30, 2010 4:20PM

Written by SOHH for Marcy Szabo

[Behind-The-Scenes of the Eminem/Jay-Z Tour: Eastern Michigan University Assistant Director Marcy Szabo speaks on getting Jay-Z to perform at the school's Convocation Center during his Blueprint III Tour last October.]

To get Jay-Z to perform at Eastern Michigan last year, I started in July. A tip came across to me that they were putting this college tour together and his team were specifically marketing colleges for the tour, and so I put together a proposal, sent it and my proposal made it to the second round. Three weeks later, I had to put together another proposal and submit it to management and it was all about the offer.

It was all about what I was willing to give and pay and I'm not gonna talk specifics, but pretty much, you give everything. So, they liked my offer and to me it was worth just doing the show to have a name like Jay-Z on our campus and so that's what we did.

We were able to fill all of Jay-Z's rider [list] of demands. I haven't seen anything too strange that I haven't been able to do here at Eastern Michigan University. We have a liquor license in our building and to be honest, for the Jay-Z rider, I don't remember anything extravagant. It was a very large [Blueprint III] tour for the size and venue but they kept within the budget or maybe they went just a little bit over, but they were willing to pay that because I had a capped budget that I could only pay so much money and anything over that, they paid for themselves. I didn't run into anything weird with them.

Every show that we do here raises awareness of our [Convocation Center] building and community to different parts of the demographics and the area. I would say Jay-Z is the biggest hip-hop artist that we've ever had come through here. But he's certainly not the biggest artist we've ever had. We've had Bob Dylan in this building who is certainly a much bigger artist than Jay-Z is. Not to say Jay-Z wouldn't make Bob Dylan status someday but that dude's been doing it for 40 years. He's a legend. And in the same token, we had The Killers here the year before Jay-Z in that type of music, The Killers actually sold faster I believe and I think they sold a little bit more because Jay-Z's production was so large, we sort of had to cap the sales at a certain point.

And in 2005, we had the biggest comedian you could get at the time and that was Dave Chappelle, so it really depends on what area you are looking at when considering the biggest artists who came here. Hip-Hop artist? Yeah, Jay-Z was probably the biggest but we have also had Nas here, we had Rick Ross and they are certainly credible hip-hop celebrities. I don't think they're Jay-Z status.

Marcy Szabo is the Assistant Director of the Convocation Center/Pease Auditorium at Eastern Michigan University and has helped put together/produce shows for Jay-Z, The Killers, Nas, Rick Ross and more in her career.

Check out footage from Jay-Z EMU concert below:

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