Playboi Carti, the headliner for the University of New Hampshire (UNH) Student Committee on Popular Entertainment (SCOPE) fall concert, was over an hour late to arrive on stage on Oct. 26 and only performed for about 30 minutes of the scheduled 45-minute set. The reasoning behind the delay is still unknown according to some SCOPE officials, while another SCOPE official told The New Hampshire that Carti was initially late due to a medical issue with his eye, and then he got pulled over for speeding. SCOPE is reportedly still unable to release any further information on the subject due to legal issues.
Niko Cardini of SCOPE publicity told The New Hampshire that he “cannot officially speak on Carti being late,” because they are “still dealing with legal issues.” He said that Scope is still waiting for its executive director, Brandon Rose, to confirm when they can talk about it. Rose said he didn’t want to speak on any of the talk of legal issues. When asked if he could elaborate, Cardini said the “situation that is being handled is out of my reach and knowledge.”
According to Rose, “no one in SCOPE knows exactly what happened” with Carti’s late arrival on stage. SCOPE’s only contact with Carti the night of the concert was through management, Rose said, and “they never gave a clear reason [about why he was late] and kept pushing back [estimated times of arrival].” He said Carti’s crew was the first to arrive at the Whittemore Center around 2 p.m., where the did soundcheck, and until the end of MadeinTYO’s sets, SCOPE “thought Carti was going to be ready to perform right after,” Rose said.
The reason SCOPE hasn’t put anything out is because of how much they don’t know, according to Rose. He said Carti was the number one artist from the survey of UNH students last semester, but followed “in the future we’re definitely giving more due diligence when deciding on an artist.” If SCOPE had known ahead of time that Carti would be late to perform, Rose said they could’ve pushed back the concert’s start time, but they had “no notice.”
SCOPE member Charlie Scott said he thought “it went really smoothly in general,” and they “encountered no problems really.” Scott was aware of the supposed legal issues but also unable to disclose any information to The New Hampshire. He noted student complaints as “the usual drunk kid ones,” such as the wrist bands, lines, and police. Scott referenced the “doors post,” on the SCOPE’s Instagram account and said that the comments there give “good insight” into the complaining.
Sales for the event were considered normal, according to Memorial Union Building (MUB) Ticket Office Student Supervisor Rebecca Smith, including a line outside the ticket office on the first day of availability. Smith said the ticket office received unhappy emails and refund requests, but she expected more complaints because of how late Carti was. Email complaints were mostly students, she said, but included one from a mother of a non-student about how Carti was “only on stage for a short time.” The mother asked for a refund, but was understanding when the request was denied. According to Smith, the mother said her son “still had a good time.”
SCOPE’s concert last spring was Lil Baby, and Smith said there were similar complaints after that one as well in the form of phone calls and emails – mostly people asking for refunds. Similarly, last year’s fall concert, Cheat Codes “had a few,” as well, Smith said, and followed with “there’s always some complaints I guess.”
Junior psychology major Caleb McClure, who stayed in attendance for the entire show, said the experience was disappointing, but he was more focused on Carti rather than SCOPE.
“SCOPE does a great job of getting people but they can’t help that the performer is trash with his fans,” he said.
When MadeinTYO finished his act, the stage was empty for a little over an hour according to McClure, and he said “everyone was yelling ‘where’s Carti?’” After the concert, which concluded around 11:30 p.m., he said he apologized to his friends that drove to UNH to see Carti, and that it felt like “a waste of money.”
Cardini said in closing that SCOPE puts forth “immaculate effort for months on end to make a show like this to happen, and despite Carti’s late arrival we all feel that the show overall went incredible.”
Looking forward, he said “SCOPE is excited to discuss our options for next semester in hopes to please as many UNH students as we can with the talent we bring.”