For this year’s Fiestas, UNM’s annual Arts and Music Festival on Johnson Field, ASUNM Student Special Events strived to bring the biggest names to the most students, without breaking the bank.

SSE Executive Director Claire McNallen said that, unlike previous years, she and her team were very selective and conscious of whom they were appealing to.

She said they chose not to advertise outside of UNM this year, in an attempt to mainly target students.

“We’ve been really purposeful about getting as many students involved as possible. We were just trying to figure out who we don’t service with Fiestas every year and get them pulled in,” she said.

This year, students can look forward to a variety of different campus groups tabling at the event, like Women’s Rugby, the Student Alliance for Reproductive Justice and WAKE.

McNallen said it was also important for them to make the most of the money they were allotted. This involved cutting back on things they deemed not cost effective, like sunglasses and keychains given to students at the event in the past.

Instead, SSE put their efforts into finding artists with high levels of recognition through research in social media and word of mouth.

“We’re not a university that has $500,000 like some of the big ones. So our main goal is always cost-effective name recognition,” she said.

With the help of their seasoned Promotions Director Chance Hoover and his many music contacts, the group was able to book big names like Gramatik and Skizzy Mars for reasonable prices.

McNallen credits her team of 50-plus volunteers for both artist suggestions and help during the upcoming event.

“We don’t have to hire labor because we have so many volunteers. Them just being amazing students that want to help out saves the University thousands of dollars,” she said.

They are expecting similar attendance from previous years, McNallen said, with anywhere from 7,000 to 10,000 people coming in and out throughout the day.

The event will have similar security measures in place to last year. Securitas will head the efforts, along with the support of UNMPD and EMTs.

Fiestas will be held on April 8 at Johnson Field, with doors opening at 12 p.m. and music starting at 12:45.

Gabriela Garcia-Huff is a news reporter at the Daily Lobo. He can be reached at or on Twitter @thegreen_gablin.