Fling acts still being finalized

Elis may have to wait for up to a month to find out who will be performing at this year’s Spring Fling, set to take place on April 25.

The Yale Student Activities Committee is currently reviewing artists’ contracts with Dean of Student Affairs Betty Trachtenberg and negotiating with potential performers and their agents, and the Spring Fling act or acts may not be finalized until late March, event organizers said. The increase in this year’s budget from the Student Activities Fee has allowed YSAC to consider artists that Yale may not have been able to afford in past years, they said.

YSAC chair Jackie Carter ’07 said a number of artists are being considered and planning for the event is on schedule. She said the committee has been researching the price and availability of the acts that ranked highest on a school-wide poll administered in early December on YaleStation.

“We still have some names in the air,” Carter said. “We are still looking at who will be available.”

The poll, in which YSAC member Katie Allen ’07 said the “majority of the student body” participated, sought student input on 22 artists as well as possible genres and the number of acts. The result of the poll were not publicly released, but Allen declined to say why.

One YSAC member, who requested anonymity because of the ongoing negotiations, said he has heard that rapper Chingy and pop singer Howie Day are among the possibilities currently on the table. Several other Yale College Council and YSAC members declined to comment on the identity of the prospective performers.

Spring Fling Committee co-chair Chris McLaughry ’07 said this secrecy is necessary because if a band is expected to play on a campus before negotiations have concluded, agents may raise prices.

“From what I’ve heard, that has actually happened at other schools, and they have lost acts because the names got leaked too early,” McLaughry said.

Last year, the University raised the 2005 Spring Fling budget by $20,000 to $95,000. Because of funding from the $50 Student Activities Fee implemented this year, the current Spring Fling budget totals about $145,000, pending grants from the President’s and Dean’s offices, YCC Treasurer Emery Choi ’07 said.

Carter said the additional funds will allow Yale to attract more well-known performers than it has in previous years.

“More of the names are affordable than would have otherwise been,” she said. “Given the names we are looking at, we are going to have much better talent, in my opinion.”

But Yale is behind some other schools that have already announced their spring event headliners. The Brown Concert Agency announced the acts for their Spring Weekend — Indie rock band Wilco and rapper Common — in late January. Last week, the University of Pennsylvania’s Social Planning and Events Committee announced that O.A.R. will perform at its Spring Fling this year.

Former Spring Fling co-chair E.J. Wolborsky ’07 said the band selection process involves contacting and booking acts through their agents and a third-party group before consulting Yale attorneys, the Dean’s and President’s offices and negotiating contracts. He said YSAC fell behind in Spring Fling planning last year, but this year the organizations seems to be progressing more quickly. Wolborsky also said the process may be smoother this year because the money generated by the Student Activities Fee has eased the financial constraints somewhat.

“This year, from what I’ve heard, the selection process was a lot easier because of the increased budget,” he said. “We didn’t have to go bargain-shopping for events.”

Yale College Council President Steven Syverud ’06 said the venue for Spring Fling is also undecided. Last year, the Council considered holding the event in Ingalls Rink before ultimately settling on the traditional Old Campus location.

“We are considering a lot of options for where we will have the event,” Syverud said.

Last year’s show on Old Campus featured Rahzel, The Shins and O.A.R.

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