Elis prepare for Tuesday’s Fling

Before entertaining hordes of screaming Yalies at Tuesday’s Spring Fling, T.I. and his entourage will need 24 pieces of fried chicken, 32 water bottles — Dasani only — and Nutter Butter cookies. Sister Hazel, on the other hand, prefers Evian and also requires, among many other items, a half pound of Healthy Choice Honey Roasted Turkey, one package of Oreos — double-stuffed if possible — and four pure protein peanut butter energy bars.

As final preparations for Spring Fling get underway, members of the Yale College Council and the Yale Student Activities Committee are scrambling to gather items on the performers’ extensive backstage request lists, to put together the sound and light systems, and to build the stage itself, Spring Fling Co-Coordinator Carrie Nguyen ’09 said.

The student organizers are responsible for providing all of the items on the performers’ rider lists, including “one small hazelnut liquid creamer” (Sister Hazel) and “one box traditional throat coat tea” (The Format). Nguyen said the hospitality team would be making a run to pick up items from the lists — totaling over 100 entries — from Sam’s Club or Costco on Monday.

“We definitely knew we could expect some crazy things on the riders,” Nguyen said. “T.I. and The Format, they were pretty reasonable. But Sister Hazel, that one kind of blew us away. It was so unbelievably long.”

YCC, YSAC and Freshman Class Council members will also each spend at least five hours working on the setup for Spring Fling at some point before the event begins on Tuesday afternoon, Nguyen said. Students will set up the stage in front of Lanman-Wright and Durfee on Monday afternoon and will begin putting up the lights at 8 a.m. on Tuesday.

After a barbeque dinner on Old Campus, The Format will take the stage at 4:30 p.m., followed by Sister Hazel at 6 p.m. and T.I. at 7:30 p.m.

Some students may welcome T.I. in a uniquely Yale fashion, if enough students get on board a “movement” started by Matthew Brimer ’09 encouraging students bring their TI-83 calculators to the concert. Brimer said he had gotten positive feedback from a “spur-of-the-moment” e-mail sent to friends and various groups suggesting a twist on typical concert behavior.

“How fantastic would it be to have a huge crowd on Old Campus holding up their TI-83s and slowly waving them back and forth instead of lighters?” Brimer said. “I thought it would be funny. We are Yale, what can I say? … When I think T.I., I think Texas Instruments.”

Students expressed mixed feelings about T.I., as many students said they were not familiar with his music.

“What is T.I.?” Jason Weed ’10 said when asked for his feelings on the Spring Fling headliner.

Chidimma Osigwe ’09 said that she would rather have had YSAC spend its budget on one really big artist as opposed to trying to appeal to multiple music tastes with three different artists.

But others said they were genuinely excited to hear T.I., whom many said was underappreciated.

“I think that T.I. is sick,” Erin Walsh ’10 said. “I think he’s going to be an awesome performer. I’m so excited to get my groove on.”

In the event of rain, the performance will move to the Lanman Center, Nguyen said. But she said that because an outside environment is crucial to the atmosphere of Spring Fling, only a torrential downpour would cause the organizers to move the event indoors.

As of Sunday evening, weather.com forecasts afternoon showers for Tuesday.

The total cost for the three acts is $95,000, Nguyen said — $70,000 for T.I., $17,500 for Sister Hazel and $7,500 for The Format.

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