ANUSA’s Friday Night Party has attracted one of the lowest turnouts in recent student memory, in a blow that could cost the student organisation more than $60,000 in lost revenue. 1,307 tickets were sold for the event, which featured big name artists like Client Liaison and Thirsty Merc.
Compared to recent years, that number is low. In 2016, social officer Cameron Allan reported that “around 2,500 tickets” had been sold for that year’s Friday Night Party, dubbed Cloud Nine.
The year before, 3,200 tickets were sold. Friday Night Party has historically been relied upon as a money raiser for ANUSA’s O-Week events – the ticket sales can give the organisation more than $130,000 in revenue.
That money is often used to bankroll top acts that headline the show: ANUSA set aside $85,000 for the line-up this year. Tickets were also offered at cheaper rates this year.
One sale offered entry into the party for $35, when buying two or more tickets. In 2017, more than half of ANUSA’s O-Week budget came from sources outside of the student services and amenities fee.
This fee, known as SSAF, is money that is distributed by the university to student organisations such as ANUSA, PARSA, Woroni and ANU Observer. Due to the lower number of tickets sold, ANUSA may find themselves up to $60,000 short on their O-Week balance sheet – almost a quarter of the whole O-Week budget.
ANUSA’s management of the Friday Night Party will most likely be examined in the coming weeks. The organisation’s social officer told Woroni that ANUSA will try to figure out what went wrong. “Every year, ANUSA learns more from our experience running Friday Night Party. This year we are looking forward to our debrief and feedback opportunities to ensure we can continue to run one of the best nights of the year for students.”
2018 was the first year that the Friday Night Party was held in the Australian National Botanic Gardens.