Diplo will headline this year’s Spring Fling, with Chance the Rapper and Betty Who completing the lineup for the April 26 event.
The names of the performers were released at Toad’s Place last night at midnight via a student-produced video to a crowd of roughly 100 students. The Yale College Council Spring Fling Committee — comprising of 30 members — selected the performers during a deliberation process that lasted from September to December. After the committee’s booking agent confirmed the asking prices of the potential artists, students received a survey of roughly 40 potential artists on Oct. 2 to gauge interest. YCC President Danny Avraham ’15 said getting the lineup was a challenge due to budget constraints, but everyone involved in the project is extremely excited.
Diplo, who is a co-creator of the music project Major Lazer, is an electronic-dance DJ with top singles including “Boy Oh Boy” and “Revolution.”
“This is the year of the DJ,” said Spring Fling Committee Chair Erica Leh ’15. “[Electronic dance music] was very big when we were going through the survey.”
The committee is excited to have Diplo perform because he is known to be a great live performer and is a recognizable name on campus, said YCC Events Director Eli Rivkin ’15. He added that, unlike in past years, the headline act will perform last in the lineup.
This year, the committee is also working with a production designer, Asher Young ’16. Young, who has assisted in production design for other events throughout the year including the Harvard-Yale Game, will be set-designing the Spring Fling event.
Chance the Rapper was the first act to be secured, as student interest in the performer was “nearly unanimous,” Leh said. The committee settled on the three acts in December.
Chance the Rapper gained fame following the release of his two mixtapes, “10 Days” and “Acid Rap.” His most popular songs include “Cocoa Butter Kisses” and “Pusha Man.”
“One of the goals that [the committee] values is to find an artist that will blow up and bringing him here first,” Rivkin said.
Yale has the second lowest budget in the Ivy league for Spring Fling, which can limit the University’s choice in artists, Leh said. Cornell and Brown have larger funds, she said, but Harvard still trails Yale.
Betty Who — perhaps the least known artist chosen for the event — recently signed with RCA Records following a viral video, suggesting that she is up-and-coming in the pop industry, Leh said. She first rose to popularity through her 2013 debut EP “The Movement” and has recorded hits “Somebody Loves You” and “You’re in Love.”
Yale’s Spring Fling Committee, chosen from an applicant pool of roughly 80 undergraduates, represents a diverse range of musical preferences, said committee member Samuel Pritzker ’16. The committee made an effort to select artists with different aesthetics and styles so that all students will find a performer to love at the event, he added.
Although the announcement was made through email last year, Leh said the committee hoped to increase excitement this time around by debuting the names and event video to a live audience. While students may not trek to Battell Chapel at night for the announcement, she said, those already at Wednesday Night Toad’s would be particularly interested in the news.
The video filmed Yale students around campus on Friday describing their predictions and hopes for Spring Fling, according to film coordinator Adam Willems ’17. Willems also incorporated splices of the artists’ music videos into the two-minute presentation.
Following the video presentation last night, students inside Toad’s Place clapped and cheered at the screen.
“It’s amazing that we’re having this top DJ playing — it’s so cool,” said Joey Yagoda ’14, a former YCC treasurer.
Kendall Polan ’14 said that “everyone at Yale is excited” and “it’s going to be awesome.”
Denzil Bernard ’15, who wrote an op-ed for the News in October advocating for Chance the Rapper to play at Spring Fling, said he has felt Chance the Rapper would be a perfect fit for Spring Fling ever since he first heard the artist’s music last year.
“I am literally so excited right now,” Bernard said. “Not necessarily about the prediction — I’m excited that there is going to be an up-and-rising person in the music industry that we can have at Spring Fling. Chance the Rapper is blowing up right now.”
Previous Spring Fling performers include Macklemore and T-Pain.