SUB and CALS Council bring Dustin Lynch to Ames

Dustin Lynch performs at the Hansen Agriculture Student Learning Center Oct. 6. The concert was part of CALS week at Iowa State. 

Jacob Beals

Two years ago, almost to the day, Dustin Lynch rocked Ames. This Wednesday he will be returning to perform at the Hansen Agriculture Student Learning Center.

Since the show in 2015, Lynch has released an album and new singles, including the recent “Small Town Boy,” which has climbed to the top of the country music charts.

Hayly Smith is Student Union Board’s national events director. She handles acts that make a stop on campus while touring across the country.

Smith said that Lynch’s return may resonate with students even more than his previous show did. His recent success on the radio and other music services, such as Spotify, is something SUB has paid attention to. Gauging a musician’s relevance is always considered in the booking process.

“We thought that he had a lot more singles out now, and he is definitely more relevant,” Smith said. “His song has been all over the radio recently.”

SUB has been promoting the show since its confirmation back in August. They are not alone in this process though. The organization teamed up with the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Student Council to bring Lynch back.

Each year, SUB puts on several shows that apply to an array of genres. But, every once in awhile, the CALS Council and SUB will come together for an event like this one.

Smith said that SUB tries to book country music acts often, as they perform well with students. When the CALS Student Council jumps on to help, they promote it heavily to the students a part of and around the organization.

“They have a good reach to their students,” Smith said.

President of the CALS Council Edan Lambert, said the 2015 show saw around 2,500 people in attendance, and she expects this event to be even bigger.

“He’s more relevant now than he was then,” Lambert said. “We are hoping for an even more successful concert this year.”

The last time the two groups teamed up was also the last time Lynch came to town. Lambert said the council would like to be a part of something like this annually, but it does not always come together.

“I think we would love to have a concert every year, but they are quite expensive and it does take a lot of work on the Student Activities Center’s and SUB’s and CALS council’s part to promote it and make sure it is successful,” Lambert said.

Along with money and time variables, putting on a concert also depends on the artist’s availability. Lambert said that country singer Cole Swindell almost came to campus last year. Things did not pan out, and enough time had passed that it became too late to book anyone else.

“You can’t promote a concert in a short time frame,” Lambert said. “You can’t find an artist two months out.”

Good timing is essential for events like this to come together. Lambert explained that many little things fell into place perfectly for the upcoming concert. This included Lynch’s schedule, and how close he would be to the Ames area at the planned time of the show.

“It’s very dependable on the variables we have,” Lambert said.

Along the path of planning, collaboration between the two organizations is vital. SUB putting on an event with the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Student Council gets students from different backgrounds to work together. Plus, members of both groups get exposure to new challenges.  

Lambert said that this experience is simpler with SUB’s help, as students who have put on shows in the past make sure everything goes smoothly. 

According to Lambert, the Student Activities Center is always promoting collaboration between student run organizations. She believes SUB and the College of Agriculutre and Life Sciences Student Council are embracing that hope.

“That’s kind of what we’re doing by using CALS council and our agriculture and life science kids, who more notoriously enjoy country music, to work with SUB and try and make a concert a success,” Lambert said.

This year, the council promoted the Dustin Lynch concert through their week of events that took place from Oct. 2 through Oct. 6.

Lambert said that Lynch’s cardboard cutout was taken to everything CALS Week related. The country singer’s 2-D replica could be seen everywhere. From the competitions, all the way to the gatherings for free food on central campus.

On Wednesday, the College of Agriculture will have to give the cutout back to SUB, and Lambert mentioned that it will be a tough departure.

“Dustin definitely became a member of CALS council,” Lambert said.

The College of Agriculture also gave away free tickets to lucky participants of events and drawings throughout the week. This included winners at the Mr. CALS competition and the CALS Olympics.

Lambert believes that by partnering clubs, it brings some of the people on campus closer together. She said that an event like this benefits both organizations, and it gives those in CALS Council something new and important to do. Plus, it shows those outside of campus what students here can accomplish when they work together.

“I think it says a lot about our college and about our club, the lengths we are willing to go to make a event successful,” Lambert said.

All of the planning and promoting will come to fruition on Wednesday night. Along with Lynch, artists Jackie Lee and Justin Adams will take the stage at the Hansen Agriculture Student Learning Center.

When events like this are over, Smith said seeing it all come together makes the whole thing worth it. While there are challenges, she loves working with her committee at SUB to make everything happen. She also enjoys seeing the student body have fun and make memories through shows.

“I really want them to enjoy it and take a break from studying, because it is during the week,” Smith said. “Everyone just needs that time to relax and have that time for fun.”

Lambert echoed those same thoughts by talking about her love of seeing the ISU community come together through an event like this one that is planned and put on by students.

“I think that it is always fun when Iowa State brings those opportunities to students,” Lambert said. “I mean, yeah, we can find those opportunities elsewhere throughout Des Moines and throughout Ames, but it’s a lot more fun when students provide students with opportunities to enhance their Iowa State experience.”

Members of SUB and the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Student Council are not the only ones looking forward to the show. The singer himself said that he enjoys performing on college campuses, as it brings back good memories. 

“Performing on campuses definitely brings me back to my time at college and the great times I had making music and memories with my best friends,” Lynch said. “Some of my earliest concerts were actually in fraternity houses around Nashville, [Tennessee], so I can’t wait to hit the stage at ISU and bring the party to the Cyclones!” 

The show starts at 8 p.m. on Wednesday, with doors opening at 7 p.m. Tickets are $25 with a student ID and $35 to the public. Tickets are available online via Midwestix.