Spring Fling acts revealed

Next month’s Spring Fling will feature the funk rock band N*E*R*D, the remix artist Girl Talk and the rapper Wale, the News has learned.

The three musical acts are listed on the Web site of Pollstar, a trade magazine covering the concert industry, as being scheduled to perform at Yale on April 28, the date of Spring Fling.

Wale, Girl Talk and N*E*R*D (pictured left to right) are reportedly slated to perform at Spring Fling next month.
Wale, Girl Talk and N*E*R*D (pictured left to right) are reportedly slated to perform at Spring Fling next month.

In a joint interview Monday evening, Yale College Council President Rich Tao ’10, Yale Student Activities Committee Chair Colin Leatherbury ’09 and Spring Fling Chair Natasha Sarin ’11 would neither confirm nor deny that the three acts had been booked for Spring Fling. Tao added that the YCC and YSAC will likely not be able to announce the final lineup until the decisions are final and contracts are signed.

“We are excited as anybody about making the line-up public,” Tao said. “But, at this moment, everything is still work in progress.”

Tao would neither confirm nor deny whether additional acts would be booked. He also declined to comment on whether the three acts depleted the budget allotted for booking artists, which Leatherbury said will not change significantly from last year’s figure of roughly $100,000.

Girl Talk, or Gregg Gillis, is a DJ who specializes in mixing together multiple songs to make his own music. His most recent album, Feed the Animals, was ranked as one of Rolling Stone Magazine’s top 50 albums of 2008.

Girl Talk has performed twice at Yale in recent years. In November 2006, he gave a concert in the Ezra Stiles College dining hall in an event organized by Volume Magazine. Admission to the event was free. In April 2008, he performed at Toad’s Place in New Haven.

N*E*R*D, which stands for No one Ever Really Dies, is a funk rock band. Two of its members also make up the Neptunes, a record production duo who have produced for Britney Spears, Diddy and Snoop Dogg.

Wale (pronounced Wall-ay), a relative newcomer to the mainstream music industry, is set to release his first album in 2009. His first single off the album, “Chillin’” features Lady Gaga. He tours with a nine-piece band that plays his back up music live.

Unlike the other two performers, Wale was not present on either of the two most recent student surveys conducted by YSAC, which polled student opinion on various artists.

The multiple surveys were one way in which this year’s selection process was a break with that of past years, which had been criticized by students for not being sufficiently transparent. A Spring Fling selection committee — separate from YSAC — met numerous times over the course of the year to discuss possible lineups.

Earlier this semester, organizers suggested that they might not rehire Pretty Polly Productions, the middle agent production company historically hired to book Spring Fling acts. Chris Barber, a senior agent at Pretty Polly, said Monday night that the company had not been involved in booking any of Yale’s acts.

Last year’s Spring Fling featured Sean Kingston, the Roots and Jimmy Eat World.


  • Anonymous

    Very excited about the acts! But I'm still a little confused as to why the YDN keeps claiming that they have been "revealed" when the organizers have yet to make an official announcement…? Why can't the News wait until the Spring Fling organizers - who have undoubtedly been working tirelessly on this - are ready to reveal their picks? Why spoil the surprise?

  • We Know It's You, YCC…

    So, is #1 a shameless shill for the YCC or just hopelessly, naively retarded?

  • Anonymous

    Pretty low, YDN.

  • to #1

    I think that once something this relevant to Yale life is posted on a public website like pollstar, its the job of a newspaper to report it. It would be irresponsible to ignore the fact that any google search can tell you who is performing at spring fling.

  • come on

    Are you serious? I have only heard of Girl Talk and only briefly. What about someone we have heard of, liek in years past. Hell, Toad's has such bigger acts than these guys (the Game, Methodman/Redman, Busta Rhymes, Common, OK Go, Slightly Stoopid, etc. in recent months) and their busdget is asmaller. Hire Brian Phelps to do your booking.

  • Anonymous

    Ah, it looks like there will once again be a vagina-free Spring Fling.

    Seriously, committee, would it kill you to book women performers once in a while?

  • Anonymous

    Not a plug for the YCC - just wish the YDN would let the YSAC team break their own news after all of the work they presumably put in.

  • only half the story

    more bands to come. stay tuned.

  • '09

    The YDN has every right to publish this. The information is publicly available. Would be completely nonsensical for the YDN not to report this!

  • to #4

    YDN revealing the Spring Fling acts is both irresponsible and disrespectful. Certain contracts are still being negotiated, so this article has jeopardized the entire process of securing the artists. As for disrespecting the selection committee, YCC and YSAC, well, that's just journalism, isn't it?

  • Anonymous

    wow the line up is even lamer than last year's

  • Disappointed Fan

    You reall dropped the ball this year.

  • Anonymous

    1/7: With this lineup, it doesn't really look like they put a lot of work into it. Also I think you are missing the point of newspapers.

  • Anonymous

    So the new version of the annual "How dare the YDN publish the Spring Fling lineup leaked throughout the Yale community for months by the YCC" complaint is that YSAC wants a pat on the back at a fantasy press conference or something? If anything, it's embarrassing that the YDN does this later and later every year; we used to know by the beginning of February that we might as well skip Spring Fling and go to Myrtle earlier.

  • #4

    The YDN didn't reveal it. Pollstar magazine did. The YDN just reported it. And they had to get their information somewhere, presumably from the bands themselves… I doubt the bands are going to drop out of the contract signing process because they themselves told a music magazine about it… Read any national newspaper and you will notice that reputable news outlets have a responsiblity to readers to give them information that has been made available to the public, whether or not the organizers are ready to announce it themselves.

  • Anonymous

    Let them eat cake

  • a proud alum

    having worked a little on spring flings of years past, i can say that #10 hit the nail squarely on the head. the bad/unethical journalism claims come not from the fact that the ydn announced the line-up early, but from the fact that pollstar's and other similar hearsay-fueled trade sites’ data are not 100% reliable and/or confirmed. the title and the general tone of the article create the impression that these acts are confirmed and settled, when the information is very likely not nearly as iron-cast and, in fact, very malleable. any talent agent can submit information to pollstar, prior to the finalization of contracts. granted, the article mentions pollstar and has the quotes from the planners, but the general tone indisputably gives the impression of a done deal ("spring fling acts revealed"). the implication? well, don't be surprised if the line-up does not end up including more acts or even loses an act as ysac and the ycc are likely now in a very tough negotiating position with agents.

    in terms of the line-up, i think it is pretty creative and exciting. maybe it’s because i’m a bit older, but i think this year’s spring fling artist group, true or not, embraces an exciting willingness to have up-and-coming acts like wale that has been absent in years past. also, it bills an electronic artist (another trend sadly absent from the past), who - while he's been here before - has an incredible live act and has become very, very well-known. finally, it also features an act with huge cross-genre appeal in n.e.r.d (who hasn't, for example, heard of pharell?). overall, it is refreshing to see the concert move in a direction of emphasizing not simply top-40 trash or middle school has-beens, but rather a fine balance between up-and-coming acts, aesthetic live quality, and cross-genre appeal.

    go ysac/ycc!

  • Following up on #15

    Can one of the YSAC trolls explain this contention that publicity jeopardizes the finalization of the band contracts? Do the bands object to free publicity, or do they then hold out for more money, ostensibly with the threat of embarrassment for YSAC if the negotiations fall through?

    Either way, this is a stupid argument. If anything, publicity would seem to give YSAC the upper hand, since pulling out of Spring Fling over a previously agreed-upon sum only hurts the band, not some kid who won't have anything to do with Yale student government in two months (or a year, at most).

  • Y11

    So far I'm channeling about 60% disapproval, which is a marked improvement over last year, even pre-Kingston. I'm fine with Girl Talk, but I wish we'd spend money on people who can give good live performances, namely real bands and real singers rather than rappers and DJs (or whatever he is).

  • Anonymous

    Was more info about the surveys cut from this story? How did the survey responses match up with our lineup here?

  • Anonymous


  • Anonymous

    I would be way more upset, but seeing the Roots last year has made me hold off on tossing all of these acts as lame press-a-machine's-button-and-watch-pros-karaoke-their-own-songs. I will gladly dismiss the rapper guy, but NERD seems to be Roots-like, mixing in enough rock to stomach the rap.

    As for Girl Talk, I've only heard he's great, and am hoping he doesn't bog down the set with tons of rap (even though rap is "party" music).

    (Yale: can we just once not use rap as the default "party" music? Would it kill you to blast some rock for a change?)

    Anyway, it would have been way better if we had at least one pure rock act up versus 2.5 rap acts.

    And didn't these guys already play Toad's in recent years? I feel like I've seen a million posters for NERD at Toad's.

    And if it's a matter of budgeting, couldn't we have some company/ies sponsor Spring Fling? I don't drink, but I'd gladly gaze at Budweiser logos and kegs everywhere if it meant getting better acts.

  • Don't be ignorant


    With that precedent set there is no way to do worse than last year. If any of you doubters took the time to look into any of the performers you would quickly find out that all three are quality live acts. Not knowing who someone is isn't synonymous with awful music. I would bet my $75 in life savings that this year's spring fling will be better than last year's.

    As far as YDN vs YSAC… what else does the YDN have to write about? Today's front page article was about off campus housing for Gods sake.

  • Anonymous

    Has there EVER been a woman performer at spring fling? Last year we even had Ludacris' misogynist drivel asking whether the audience members had "clean pussies" - the women of Yale are owed something to make up for this error.


  • Anonymous

    YDN is completely within their rights to publish this. If YCC wanted to control how the information was announced to the student body, they shouldn't have allowed the information to leak to a secondary website. There's really no grey area on this, journalistically speaking.

  • Call me a troll, but

    Maybe men are just better musicians than women.

    Also, this is not the complete list of performers.

  • Anonymous

    does anyone else have a problem that the ydn posted only half of the two guests at the tea?

  • @#24

    You clearly weren't here last year. Neither was Ludacris. He was here when the seniors were freshmen, or at least, before I was here.

    While I too would like to see a woman perform at Spring Fling (where's the Regina Spektor love?), no amount of women performers can "make up for" the "misogynist drivel" of the past. Indeed, it's not about "making up for" anything. It's about helping our culture move past thinking it's okay. By choosing acts that don't use misogynistic language (and they don't, right?) I'd say we're moving in the right direction.

  • @#26

    Larry Summers? Is that you?

  • To #28

    Of course that's not larry summers. He's busy helping the current administration implement socialism.

  • Branford 10

    Yeah what's with the lack of female acts? I was really hoping for Lilly Allen or Regina Spektor or someone like that.

    But anything's better than Sean Kingston.

  • heather

    awww was that a april fools joke about the jonas brothers being at the spring fling in the paper today??? =[ lol