Many Yalies had never heard of some of the bands in this year’s Spring Fling lineup — even with widespread rumors about them that circulated long before the official announcement.
The Yale College Council confirmed that, along with MGMT, Mike Posner, Matt & Kim, and the Ying Yang Twins will provide the soundtrack to an afternoon of sun rays and revelry on April 27. After the lineup leaked Tuesday, the Spring Fling Committee decided to ditch its original marketing plan of spreading the announcements throughout the week and instead officially announced the rest of the acts Tuesday evening.
Despite their foiled publicity plan, committee members expressed excitement about the lineup, and a majority of the 20 students interviewed said they approve of MGMT and the Ying Yang Twins, though most said they are unfamiliar with Posner and Matt & Kim.
YCC Events Director Mathilde Williams ’11 said the decision to announce the acts Tuesday night was not a direct response to an IvyGate blog post claiming to have found the lineup in the Spring Fling Web site’s source code, but instead responded to general rumors.
“It’s unfortunate,” she said. “Our marketing strategy was to let people know the bands one at a time.”
But Williams said the committee will continue to use the Spring Fling Web site and Facebook page to post videos and articles that can help students familiarize themselves with the four acts.
And apparently many students could use the help: Of 20 students interviewed Tuesday evening, 12 said they had not heard of Matt & Kim, a Brooklyn-based dance punk duo, and 17 had not heard of Posner, a hip hop and electronic artist who is currently a senior at Duke University.
But 15 of 20 students interviewed said they like the Ying Yang Twins, and 13 of those 20 said they like MGMT, the concert’s main act.
“They are happening, so to speak,” Jonathan Kreiss-Tomkins ’12 said of the headliner.
Spring Fling Committee co-chair Pete Croughan ’12 said the committee focused on bands with a strong fan base that were not “particularly alienating,” adding that planners wanted to include bands with happy, upbeat feels. Though this year is missing a more acoustic-style band, like last year’s performer the Decemberists, Croughan said he is excited about the tone of the lineup.
“We’re not Bonnaroo or Coachella,” he added, referring to the popular music festivals. “We only have so much money and one afternoon to maintain excitement and enjoyment.”
Williams acknowledged that this year’s Spring Fling will not have the exact same feel as last year’s, but that the committee never intended to mimic last year’s show. She added that planners focused on artists’ relevance and live performance when deciding the lineup.
Though former YCC President Rich Tao ’10 said in an interview with the News last year that planners did not pursue MGMT for the 2009 show because of the band’s lackluster live shows, Williams and current YCC President Jon Wu ’11 both said they are confident the electronic duo will deliver a strong performance.
“We’ve actually had a couple of committee members that have seen MGMT live,” Wu said.
Croughan said each band will bring something different to the event. Matt & Kim are classically talented musicians that will provide a great “daytime feel,” he said, and Posner’s music has an “infectious quality.”
“The Ying Yang Twins should get that late-night push,” he added.
Still, the committee could not please everyone.
“I’m totally pissed that it’s not Lady Gaga,” said Jessica Abrego ’10. “I’m so upset. I filled out all the surveys.”
Baobao Zhang contributed reporting.