After Long Wait Spring Fling Lineup Draws Praise, Scrutiny
After much anticipation, the Spring Fling lineup was announced last Thursday—Ghostface Killah and Raekwon of the Wu-Tang Clan will headline the show on May 5, with support from The Walkmen and Wavves.
According to Social Committee co-chair Casey Feldman ’12, the committee encountered several obstacles before coming to a final decision.
“We suffered a lot of setbacks, with bands we really wanted cancelling on us,” Feldman said. “This lineup somehow came together, and it was sort of magical, and I think we’re all really happy with it.”
The Committee began planning the concert in the fall, brainstorming acts that would appeal to a mass audience while keeping in mind Wesleyan’s unique music scene.
“When we first start out we consider availability of the bands and then we try to pick a lineup that will please as many people as possible, and we try to do something that not every other college is doing,” Feldman said.
Social Committee co-chair Adam Gunther ’11 said that the Committee initially thought about booking four acts instead of three, but it turned out to be financially unviable.
“[Having four acts] is something we talk about every year,” Gunther said. “We tried really hard this year because people were really excited about the idea, but in the end it just didn’t come through. Unfortunately, even though we have a really generous, wonderful budget, to do four acts in this day and age you just need more cash.”
The Committee considered acts such as Nelly, Tame Impala, Andre 3000, Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings, El Guincho and Girls, but these acts were either unavailable or out of their price range. After deciding against having four bands, the Committee began their search for a headliner with star power that would not prove to be too expensive. Most of the acts they looked at cost as much as $75,000 or as little as $20,000. The Committee found a middle ground with Ghostface Killah and Raekwon. According to the Student Budget Committee (SBC), the Social Committee spent approximately $75,000 on Spring Fling in total. This includes the artists’ booking fees and the money to set up the stage for the event.
According to Gunther, the lineup was released relatively late this year because the committee wanted to make sure all of the contracts were finalized before anything was announced.
Student reactions to the lineup were mixed, with some praising the original selections and others criticizing the choices for not being mainstream enough.
“[Other schools] seem to have more recent people, and the people that we have, you have to really be into this type of music, and you have to have been a fan for a really long time in order to know who this person is and really enjoy them at Spring Fling,” said Yasmine Bennett ’14. “At other schools, you just say the name and everyone is like ‘Oh, I know who that is!’”
Genelle Faulkner ’13 said that she thought people would have a fun time regardless of what acts were playing.
“I’m not very familiar with these people, but it seems to turn out pretty well even if you don’t know them that well,” she said. “I like the idea of indie bands and because I think not being so mainstream is Wesleyan.”
Bennett said she would be willing to pay a small amount to for a more mainstream act.
“If it was a really good act, and it was a decent price to pay, then I would be willing to pay for it,” Bennett said.
Feldman said that the Committee would continue to keep Spring Fling a free event, as opposed to other schools’ spring concerts that often charge entrance.
“Part of the beauty of Spring Fling is that it’s free,” he said. “It’s our job to make do with what we have and put on the best show we can.”
Gunther said that they expect that there will always be some students who are critical, but he believes it is a strong lineup.