Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons
Re-emerging pop sensation JoJo and Canadian hip-hop artist Tory Lanez will co-headline Spring Fling 2017, the Yale College Council Spring Fling Committee announced Wednesday on the dance floor of Toad’s Place.
The opening performance will feature the two headliners, with American DJ Deorro closing the festival. The Spring Fling Committee revealed the lineup, which includes artists of genres ranging from R&B to pop to EDM, to several hundred students at Toad’s Place in a video at midnight.
The diverse lineup is intended to keep the energy of the event high throughout the day and will make Spring Fling, which takes place on April 29 this year, “an entirely comprehensive experience,” said YCC Events Director Lauren Sapienza ’18.
Known for her 2006 hit “Too Little Too Late” and 2004 chart-topper “Leave (Get Out),” JoJo — a Massachusetts native whose full name is Joanna Levesque — drew a unanimous vote for her message of positivity and perseverance, the Spring Fling committee told the News.
In the fall of 2016, JoJo dropped her first studio album since 2006, “Mad Love,” which debuted at number six on the Billboard charts. Although JoJo has spent the past decade disputing legal battles with her record label, Entertainment Weekly called her “one of her generation’s finest vocalists.”
The committee similarly chose Grammy-nominated artist Tory Lanez for his “stage presence and energy” as well as his “throwback vibe,” Spring Fling committee co-director Mikaela Rabb ’18 said.
“We want to make sure that the artists that we put out on the stage exhibit what we want to portray to the Yale community as well,” Rabb added.
When the YCC committee first met in September 2016 to brainstorm potential acts, they set out to include a broad range of genres and performers in their initial survey of 30 artists, which was distributed to the undergraduate student body in the fall. While Top 40 Pop and R&B/Hip-Hop artists are all-time Yalie favorites, survey results showed that campus interest in EDM has continued to gain over the past five years.
The committee aimed to identify performers who could engage with the audience on Old Campus rather than just popular artists, and ultimately settled on three artists who they believe will “keep you on your toes,” Rabb said.
Deorro is an answer to the increased interest among students in electronic music, according to Kacey Jezewski ’18, co-director of the Spring Fling committee. She added that Yalies’ positive reaction to Diplo’s show at Spring Fling 2014 was a turning point for the annual festival — given concert attendees’ positive reactions, the committee has invited an EDM artist each year since.
The committee chose Deorro for his high energy performances, and committee members said the accessibility of his music will keep the entire crowd dancing and jumping. His track “Five More Hours” with Chris Brown peaked at No. 9 on the Billboard Charts in 2015.
Along with the main performers, Spring Fling features bands and DJs handpicked from the broader Yale and New Haven communities, each of whom play 30-minute sets in between the headline acts. The committee will solicit video samples from performers in the spring, and the WYBC will host “Battle of the Bands” to determine student headliners.
Over the past few years, Spring Fling attendance has doubled to over 7,000, Sapienza said, adding that the committee has been working with graduate schools and businesses in New Haven to make the festival a broader community event for the entire city to enjoy.
Students rejoiced as each new act appeared on the screen. Both Leah Salovey ’17 and Kevin Ennis ’17 look forward to JoJo’s performance — an homage to “middle school days” and a “throwback” act, said Salovey. Travis Alverio ’19 looks forward to Deorro’s rendition of “Five More Hours,” one of the DJ’s biggest hits.
“It’s modern. It’s fun,” Ennis said. “It’s going to be a fun Spring Fling for sure.”
Jamal Locke ’18 added that the lineup “appeals to all students no matter what kind of music they like.”
The committee promised many surprises at Spring Fling 2017.
“From a production standpoint, we’re taking it to a new level,” Sapienza said. “There’s an arc of the day, and the baseline of that arc is the artist’s engagement with the Yale community, and these performers are incredible at engaging with the crowd.”
JoJo is the third consecutive female headliner selected by the YCC.
This post was updated to reflect the version that ran in print on Feb. 16.