The Yale College Council has secured Guster for this year’s Spring Fling band, YCC President Vidhya Prabhakaran ’03 said.
After unsuccessfully negotiating with both Live and Sugar Ray, the YCC has reached an agreement with Guster and is working out the technicalities.
Live, which received the most votes in a recent student survey, was not interested in playing at Yale, and Sugar Ray’s stage requirements were not commensurate with Old Campus.
“Live won the survey, and so we put our bid in first with Live,” Prabhakaran said. “They simply did not want to play with Yale for whatever reasons. We went on to the next one, which was Sugar Ray. They have some stage specifications that just don’t mesh with Old Campus and the way that Old Campus is laid out. It got to a point where it was just insurmountable. They chose to drop our bid as well.”
The YCC next began bidding on Guster, Prabhakaran said, which was the third-place band in the January online survey.
“We’re really happy; Guster’s a great band, so we’ll love it and it will be a great concert,” Prabhakaran said. “They have a fairly mellow sound — it’s harder than [last year’s act Ben] Harper but it’s still a fairly mellow sound in comparison to Sugar Ray or Live. Hopefully people will still like them and hopefully people will enjoy the concert. People always enjoy the concert no matter who we got.”
Prabhakaran said Guster actually ranked higher than Live and Sugar Ray in an open-ended fall survey and were ranked among acts such as the Dave Matthews Band and the Red Hot Chili Peppers. Spring Fling chairman Brad Kahn ’04 said YCC members expected Guster to fare better in the second survey than they did.
“We were actually surprised, I think, seeing how well Guster did on the original survey, and I think that bodes well for having them as the band,” Kahn said. “I think that the fact that there were actual names on the second survey, and people saw big names like Live and Sugar Ray … some people didn’t even recognize Guster at all.”
Prabhakaran said the concert is still planned for a late afternoon show on April 28. All of the bands YCC has been working with were priced in the $25,000 to $40,000 range, but Prabhakaran could not confirm a final price because the terms are pending and the contract has yet to be signed.
“The bid will fluctuate a little bit depending on factors like merchandising, length of show,” Prabhakaran said. “It’s possible to have us sell shirts for them and that kind of thing which is common in regular concerts. We don’t generally do that — the main thing is it’s illegal on Old Campus. Generally we’ve been able to manage to negotiate without merchandising.”
The kind of amusement rides YCC can get for Spring Fling and whether they can offer T-shirts is contingent on the price of the band, Prabhakaran said.
Other bands YCC considered this year included Alien Ant Farm, Rusted Root and O.A.R.
Guster, a Boston-area band, has previously opened for such bands as Barenaked Ladies.
Previous Spring Fling acts include Ben Harper, Wyclef Jean, Rusted Root and the Indigo Girls.
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