Two hip-hop acts are tentatively lined up to perform at this year’s Spring Fling festival on April 29, Yale Student Activities Committee members said Wednesday.
Although the performers’ names remain a secret, and speculation about their identities has begun to ripple across campus. YSAC representative Colin Leatherbury ’09 confirmed that of the three bids submitted by YSAC since last Friday, two have resulted in contract negotiations. YSAC is awaiting a response to the third bid, submitted Monday afternoon to a rock group.
Hip-hop was the most popular genre of music in a YCC poll about student Spring Fling preferences conducted last month, Leatherbury said.
YSAC did not release the names of the acts under consideration because it could jeopardize contract negotiations, YCC officials said, although the committee has tailored its search to avoid acts with offensive lyrics, following last month’s “Yale Sluts” incident.
But YSAC’s commitment to keeping the names under wraps has not prevented widespread speculation as to who will take the stage on Old Campus in April. At least two of the names being tossed around — the Goo Goo Dolls and the Counting Crows — are unlikely to come to Yale, according to Jonathan Edwards YSAC Representative Bobby Gibbs ’10.
While the Buffalo, NY-based Goo Goo Dolls did make it onto YSAC’s shortlist, conflicts with tour dates in California made it impractical for the band to play Spring Fling, Gibbs said. And while the Counting Crows remain an option “if everything else falls through,” Gibbs said, other YSAC members have said the band’s steep price tag makes it unattractive for a show intended to feature a diversity of artists.
YSAC officials have declined to disclose how much each performer will pocket for appearing at Spring Fling.
Assistant Dean of Yale College Edgar Letriz — who functions as an administrative liaison to the YSAC and the Yale College Council throughout the planning process — said financial information is confidential. Releasing exact figures would be “tantamount to publicizing an individual’s salary,” he said. In addition, releasing such information would make it difficult for performers to negotiate performance fees at future concerts, Letriz said.
Last year, YSAC paid $70,000 for T.I., $17,500 for Sister Hazel and $7,500 for The Format, then-Spring Fling co-Coordinator Carrie Nguyen ’09 said when the acts were announced in April.
Although the exact figure is confidential, Leatherbury said YSAC was given roughly $140,000 by the University and through the student activities fee to plan and execute Spring Fling 2008, on par with years past.
Following an incident last month in which students associated with the Zeta Psi fraternity were photographed in front of the Women’s Center holding a sign reading “We Love Yale Sluts,” the Yale College Dean’s Office has urged YSAC to hire groups that “wouldn’t offend vast swaths of the Yale population,” Gibbs said.
Last year, headliner T.I. bounded onto the stage performing his hit single “What You Know?” — whose lyrics read “Ya bitches get low / Because I get dough / So what? I’m rich, ho” — with gunshot sound effects in the background.
Gibbs said he does not think the performers YSAC is targeting will spark controversy.
“We don’t think there’s going to be a problem,” he said. “But there were some other groups we were looking at early on that we cut for those reasons.”