Spring Fling lineup unveiled

After last year’s Spring Fling closer MGMT received poor reviews, the YCC hopes DJ group Big Gigantic can wind the show down with more verve.
After last year’s Spring Fling closer MGMT received poor reviews, the YCC hopes DJ group Big Gigantic can wind the show down with more verve. Photo by YDN .

Electronic band Big Gigantic, alternative rock band Third Eye Blind, rapper Lupe Fiasco and electronic duo Designer Drugs will play at Spring Fling on April 26, the Yale College Council announced Thursday.

This year’s concert will also have an afterparty for the first time, featuring Patrice “Pato” Wilson — the rapper from Rebecca Black’s music video “Friday” — as a special guest at Toad’s, said James Campbell ’13, chair of the Spring Fling committee. While committee members said they are satisfied with the lineup, this year’s concert did not come together smoothly: two major acts canceled their appearances, and organizers scrambled to find replacements, said YCC Events Director Michael Chao ’11.

Instead of Lupe Fiasco, the committee had originally booked rapper B.o.B., whose songs “Nothin’ on You,” “Airplanes” and “Magic” have all been top-ten hits on the Billboard Hot 100. But after confirming with the committee on Oct. 22 that he would appear at Spring Fling, B.o.B. canceled on December 4, citing plans to record a new album in the studio, Chao said.

The committee then booked Lupe Fiasco in early December, and that same month secured a commitment from DJ act Major Lazer. But on Jan. 19, the committee presented a fully signed contract to the group only to learn that Major Lazer wanted to cancel the show, Chao said.

“This year is the first time in my four years doing [Spring Fling] that we’ve had anyone cancel, and it happened twice,” Chao said.

Major Lazer’s management had double-booked the group for shows in Europe and the United States in the same week. Because tickets for the European shows were already for sale, the group decided to cancel its U.S. tour dates, a booking agent for the group told Chao in an e-mail. The committee ultimately decided only to book one headliner — Lupe Fiasco — and secured the other three acts in February and March, Chao said.

Two of the acts on the bill, Big Gigantic and Designer Drugs, were relatively unknown to students before they were booked for Spring Fling. Of 18 students interviewed, none had heard of Big Gigantic, and only one knew of Designer Drugs. Fifteen had heard of Lupe Fiasco and Third Eye Blind.

Big Gigantic is a two-person electronic band from Colorado that combines jazz with dance beats. Two Spring Fling committee members characterized their music as “electronic jazz” and “indie funk.” The band, which is known for dynamic live performances, will be the show’s opener, organizers said.

“They’re a very high-energy act,” said Thomas Meyer ’13, vice chair of sponsorships for Spring Fling. “They’re constantly referencing big songs everyone knows, so they’re very accessible.”

Meyer and other committee members said that after an act by MGMT at last year’s Spring Fling was ill-received by students, the committee paid special attention to finding artists who give strong live performances.

“There are a lot of artists out there whose music people know — Sean Kingston, or T.I. — who perform really well in the Spring Fling survey, but in fact a lot of people haven’t seen them live,” Campbell said. “They’ll come to Spring Fling and put on a terrible show and we’ll be out $50,000.”

He added that Lupe Fiasco is known for giving more energetic performances than other rap artists.

Committee members said they wanted a DJ group to end the show in part because they deemed Girl Talk’s closing performance at Spring Fling in 2009 a success.

Most students interviewed said they are not familiar with many of the acts in the lineup, but said they are not upset at the Spring Fling committee’s choices.

“I like DJ electronic music, and I’m excited about listening to music I haven’t heard before,” said Lisa Zhang ’14.

Because the committee saved around $4,000 on contracts for sound and lighting equipment and raised another few thousand dollars from corporate sponsors, Campbell said, organizers decided to hold an afterparty at Toad’s. The afterparty will be free for Yale students and is officially sponsored by Jack Wills.

The YCC is also making environmental efforts for the concert: Spring Fling will be water bottle-free, Campbell said, and all cups, plates and utensils for food service will be compostable.

Spring Fling will take place on Old Campus on April 26. Student bands will play before the first act, and the show will end by 11:00 p.m. The afterparty will start after the concert and will last until 1:00 a.m.

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