SCOPE Reflects on their Return to the Whitt

Fall 2022 Concert Featuring Lil Tjay and Flipp Dinero

DURHAM- The Whittemore Center Arena packed with students and community members to watch Lil Tjay and Flipp Dinero perform on Nov 12.

Kaylin Moriarty, Staff Writer

DURHAM, NH- “Electric, fulfilling and grateful,” said Harrison Flagg, executive director of the Student Committee On Popular Entertainment (SCOPE) at the University of New Hampshire (UNH).

Three words he used to describe SCOPE’s fall 2022 concert featuring artists Lil Tjay and Flipp Dinero that took place on Saturday, Nov. 12 at the Whittemore Center Arena (the Whitt).

After three years away from the Whitt stage, the show signified SCOPE’s long awaited return to the arena.

“It was awesome to be back, especially because the campus has been wanting it too, and waiting for a very long time. I’m happy we could give that to them,” said Flagg.

After examining their analytical data from surveying students and also factoring in who’s “hot” at the moment, as Flagg put it,  SCOPE was able to select rap artists Lil Tjay and Flipp Dinero for the fall show.

Flipp Dinero, known for his hit song “Leave Me Alone” released in 2019, opened for Lil Tjay. During his performance, a sea of phone flashlights filled the arena as fans began waving them through the air with excitement. When Lil Tjay took to the stage, the anticipation and enthusiastic energy continued as thousands of voices echoed back some of the artist’s most famous songs, including “Hold On” and “WAR.”  

Flipp Dinero opens for Lil Tjay at the Whitt. (Jackie Weik)

Rap has proven to be a successful genre for UNH SCOPE performances and the show was able to generate quite the turnout. With a 5,000 person capacity for the Whittemore Center Arena, the Lil Tjay and Flipp Dinero show was only 500 tickets short of selling out the entire venue and sold 700 more student tickets in comparison to their last several shows, according to Flagg. 

The bowl section of seating which quickly sold out of student tickets, packed to the barricades. (Jackie Weik)

“We were so close to selling out student tickets, which was super cool,” said Flagg. “We haven’t done that since T-Pain in 2016, so it’s been a minute since we’ve had a sellout.”

For the first time since before the pandemic, SCOPE was also able to reintroduce public tickets as part of the experience. However, Flagg shared that SCOPE is continuing to work on expanding their outreach outside of the UNH community.

Flagg emphasized the continued effort to engage with audiences outside of UNH and increase public sales. 

“The people at UNH know about SCOPE because they all live together, and they’re all in the same circle, so it’s easier to spread the word. There hasn’t been a SCOPE concert with public tickets since 2019, so the anticipation isn’t there. People in highschools don’t know about it, and people in surrounding towns don’t know about it. We took measures to counteract that, but we are still trying to build on public involvement,” said Flagg.

Lil Tjay performs at the Whitt. (Jackie Weik)

For many SCOPE members, the concert marked their first-ever performance in the Whitt. Flagg shared that, prior to the Lil Tjay and Flipp Dinero show, only three out of 22 members had experienced what it’s like to organize a concert in the arena.

Flagg, along with SCOPE Publicity Director, Anna Robinson, shared their own set of “firsts” as they both stepped into new leadership roles within the organization.

“This was not only my first time at the Whitt, but it was my first time in this position,” said Robinson. “It was a bunch of new experiences for me, so anxiety was high, but things worked out.”

SCOPE has six departments that help organize concert preparation and day of show operation: publicity, production, hospitality, security, business and analytics. Robinson’s publicity department spent the last few weeks promoting the show on social media and answering any questions students and fans may have had prior to the show.

“I am super happy with how things went, elated actually,” said Robinson.

Both Flagg and Robinson shared feelings of pride and gratitude for the work that SCOPE put into the Lil Tjay and Flipp Dinero show. The two agreed that there is both a need and importance to bring popular entertainment to both the campus and community.

“Ever since the pandemic, I feel like people’s social skills have taken a huge hit. Personally, mine have, and it’s more difficult for people to talk to each other and interact,” said Robinson. “If you can at least relate to someone else with one thing, then that’s something, and I think that’s why bringing a popular artist is super important.”

Students in the bowl section pose for a photo. (Jackie Weik)