Major artists return for concerts at Banterra Center on SIU campus

It's been nearly 5 years since a major artist played on the SIU campus, and in just a few hours a Country Music Star will rock the stage
Published: Aug. 3, 2023 at 4:43 PM CDT|Updated: Aug. 3, 2023 at 5:22 PM CDT
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CARBONDALE, Ill. (KFVS) - It’s been nearly five years since a major artist played on the Southern Illinois University campus.

On Thursday evening, August 3, country music artist Sam Hunt will be playing at the Banterra Center.

Leaders at SIU say they heard the community’s feedback to bring major concerts back to Carbondale.

“Currently, people who see concerts are traveling to St. Louis, they’re going to Cape Girardeau, and so we want the opportunity to have concerts here for people in southern Illinois,” said Sarah Van Vooren, director of events and outreach for SIU.

From Elvis to Fleetwood Mac to Garth Brooks, bigs concerts at SIU aren’t new. However, it’s been a few years since they’ve happened. The last major artist to perform at Banterra Center was Ice Cube in 2018.

Sarah Van Vooren with SIU said campus leaders knew it was time to bring back big entertainment.

“Anytime we do big concerts or big events, whether that be concerts in the Banterra Center, whether that be the eclipse, it’s good for tourism in southern Illinois and it’s really good to just bring people together and create a good sense of community and that’s really our goal here,” she explained.

Director of the Carbondale Chamber of Commerce William Lo said it takes the entire community’s support to keep major concerts coming back to town.

“It takes the communities to support these acts. That way we can, we know we can, sell more tickets down the road,” Lo said.

He said the city has had great concerts in the past.

“And that’s one thing we really missed about it being Carbondale having great concerts and I think tons of SIU alumni and residents can attest. So as a chamber, we’re really excited because that’s going to bring people coming to town to eat, shop,” he continued.

Lo said he applauds the university for bringing major music acts back to town.

And university leaders say they’re looking forward to more concerts.

“We want to see how this goes, but it is our hope in the future to continue to bring acts to the Banterra Center,” Van Vooren said.

The concert begins at 7 p.m. Thursday. Gates open at 6. Tickets can still be purchased online or at the SIU ticket window.