USM cancels Eaglepalooza concert, thanks to budget cuts

Melanie Fiona plays at Eaglepalooza in downtown Hattiesburg in 2011.
Melanie Fiona plays at Eaglepalooza in downtown Hattiesburg in 2011. jmitchell@sunherald.com

Last year, Keri Hilson drew thousands of people to downtown Hattiesburg during Eaglepalooza, the University of Southern Mississippi’s annual concert.

For the past 13 years, popular artists such as Girl Talk, Eve, Dashboard Confessional, Phillip Phillips, Melanie Fiona and Echosmith have headlined the Eaglepalooza stage.

This year, though, the Student Government Association, sponsor and organizer of the free concert, canceled it because of budget cuts, SGA president Cameron Cloud told the Student Printz.

“Eaglepalooza was an event of 13 years of tradition, but we will be able to better focus on student organizations and directly affect the student body,” Cloud told the Printz. “It’s bittersweet, but SGA is going to do huge things this year. We’re still going to be present in the community.”

At the beginning of the year, Cloud said, SGA projected having $45,000 in the budget for Eaglepalooza. Because of budget cuts, he told the Printz, the money wasn’t there.

“Unfortunately, cutting Eaglepalooza was one of the first things to cut in the statewide budget cuts.”

This isn’t the first time there has been controversy surrounding the concert series.

In 2012, the SGA got an anonymous donation to add to the Eaglepalooza budget. The headliner that year, pop duo Karmin, canceled their appearance on the day of the concert.

Justin Mitchell: 228-604-0705, @JustinMitchell_