On April 15, after weeks of an increasingly churning rumor mill, the Spring Fling Committee finally announced that Chance The Rapper, tUnE-yArDs, and S-Type will be the performers for the May 8 event. The opening act will be decided after the annual Battle of the Bands event at Eclectic this Friday.
Though booking the acts was a multi-semester process, some acts were chosen early on in the process.
“Chance The Rapper was on that early list, he was, I think, the first name,” said Spring Fling Committee Co-Chair Eric Lopez ’15. “tUnE-yArDs carried over; she was on the list for last year, and it didn’t happen because of time constraints, and also she wasn’t recording music back then.”
The timing is perfect, as tUnE-yArDs will release a new album, Nikki Nack, on May 6, two days before the performance.
Glasgow-based electronic musician S-Type is arguably the lowest-profile of the acts, but Lopez is confident that the artist’s energy will be a perfect way to start out the day. S-Type will perform after the student band opener.
“He’ll be spinning live DJ mixes pretty much,” Lopez said. “He’ll be actually using DJ vinyl, which is basically a utility where you’re spinning by yourself. So he’s self-taught, and that’s incredible…to have that ability to do that kind of thing.”
After S-Type, tUnE-yarDs will take the stage. Lopez said that Merrill Garbus, the brains behind tUnE-yarDs, brings an all-encompassing presence to her shows.
“Her stage presence is incredible, the way she handles herself—if you watch her on ‘Conan’ all the way to watching her in a little back room performance,” Lopez said. “No matter what space she’s in, she fills it up very well, and we need that from the onset.”
In an email interview with The Argus, tUnE-yarDs bassist Nate Brenner promised an electrified set.
“You can expect a crazy dance party,” Brenner wrote.
Headliner Chance the Rapper, arguably the most anticipated of the acts, is unconventional amongst live rap acts: he will be bringing a live band with him. Lopez, who has seen Chance live before, has watched him evolve from start-up rapper to acclaimed independent artist.
“I saw him when he was a 700-dollar act,” Lopez said. “It was tiny, and he had a good stage presence back then, but it wasn’t the best. But now with his live band, I think that’s one of the greatest things—if you watch his recent performances on video, it’s incredible what he does onstage with his band, with the trumpets, with the horns, his drummer…And I think it’s the perfect kind of thing for spring, and I think it’s the perfect kind of thing for this campus.”
Hopefully this energy will reverberate across Foss Hill: if the event is held outside, it will mark the first outdoor Spring Fling since 2011. If bad weather forces the event off of Foss, the hockey rink remains the backup location.
“There’s been no change, really, in the system,” Lopez said. ”We went through a bunch of options, and the most feasible one is the hockey rink.”
After the controversy surrounding gendered lines at last year’s Spring Fling, the committee is making efforts to amend the issue.
“We’ve had three meetings so far since the start of the whole thing,” Lopez said. “We talked about how to alleviate that issue for people who identify as not within that binary.”
For logistical and entertainment reasons alike, no one hopes that Spring Fling is outside this year more than Lopez.
“I mean, being on Foss, there are some rules,” Lopez. “You can bring alcohol, but you [can] only bring a six pack per person, and things like that. And it’ll be more fun. I’m praying. I should probably go to church. I don’t know, man. It should be great.”