Concert on the Steps

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Concert on the Steps is a concert held annually every spring. It is part of Bacchanal. Past performers have included Outkast, They Might Be Giants, Ben Folds Five, Kanye West, George Clinton, Fuel (band), Destiny's Child, Talib Kweli, and Vampire Weekend.

Artists are chosen each year by Bacchanal Events; the organization claims to have been consistently ahead of its time in the 2000s by inviting groups on the cusp of hitting it big. Unfortunately, this meant that students frequently complained about never getting performers who have already hit it big. This was alleviated in the mid-2010s with the start of a new trend of booking washed-up rappers. Students also frequently complain about the frequency with which rap and hip-hop groups are featured, as opposed to other genres. Relatedly, Columbia students complain a lot.


Unlike the annual concerts funded by outside donors at other universities, the concert is paid for entirely by student fees. As Bacchanal is a recognized student group under ABC, they receive most of their budget directly from student life fees. The councils have, in the past, co-sponsored the concert by adding some of their money. The undergraduate deans have also contributed funds. Beginning in 2015, funding became more directly overseen by the councils.