Hip-hop artist A$AP Ferg will headline Spring Fling this year, the Yale College Council announced on Wednesday at Toad’s Place.
In an announcement at Woads, the YCC revealed that Cupcakke, Dagny and Madeon will accompany A$AP Ferg at this year’s concert. For the first time in five years, Yale’s Spring Fling will feature four artists instead of three, despite a $15,000 decrease in the YCC Spring Fling Committee’s budget, which amounts to $274,000, said Lucas Villalobos ’19, co-chair of the YCC Spring Fling Committee.
“Obviously not everyone on campus is going to know every artist, but we want to make sure that anyone who shows up will be able to enjoy the performance,” said Tyler Bleuel ’19, YCC events director. “So we want to make sure that the artist has good live energy, and that the artists are able to feed off of the crowd, and the crowd is able to feed off of the artist.”
A New York native and member of the A$AP Mob hip-hop collective, which also includes popular artist A$AP Rocky, A$AP Ferg is viewed by many as a pioneer of the trap music genre. Bleuel said that A$AP Ferg was the top choice on a YCC survey distributed in October. His song “Plain Jane” has been on Spotify’s Top 50 for several months, and other songs of his, such as “Shabba” and “What Do You Do,” also have tens of millions of Spotify listens.
Cupcakke, a rapper and singer from Chicago, Illinois, will open Spring Fling, followed by Dagny, a Norwegian pop singer. A$AP Ferg will perform after Dagny, and Madeon, an EDM DJ, will close the event.
Bleuel said that Cupcakke’s music employs wordplay and social commentary that students will appreciate. He added that she is “super energetic,” noting that the committee’s goal this year was to bring energy to Old Campus. Cupcakke’s albums were on Rolling Stones’ list of the 40 best rap albums in 2016 and 2017, and she has received positive reviews for her recently released album “Ephorize.” Cupcakke is also known for her use of edgy, profane lyrics — her most popular song is titled “Deep Throat.”
“If CupcakKe is in the lineup, I hope she does ‘Deep Throat,’” said Aakshi Aggarwal ’21, who was at Toads during the announcement.
Bleuel, who noted that the watched videos of each artist in concert as they decided which artists to approach, said he was excited to see all of this year’s acts.
“Dagny will likely be a new name for many students, but she’s an amazing performer,” Bleuel said. “We were blown away by her stage presence. It’s impossible not to bop along to her music.”
The YCC Spring Fling Committee distributed its annual survey in early October, asking students to rank both their genre and artist preferences, as well as their opinions on the order of the performances.
The organizers said that most students indicated they wanted the closing act to be EDM, he added, even though EDM is not a popular genre in general.
“Madeon is super exciting to have performing for us this year as one of the most sought after producers in the business,” said Griffin Solot-Kehl ’19, co-chair of the YCC Spring Fling Committee. “Coming out of the overwhelmingly popular shelter tour and in the process of making a new project this year, students will be thrilled to see somebody of the caliber of Madeon not only DJ but [also] give them a performance to remember.”
Villalobas said the committee was able to successfully recruit four acts for this year’s concert because it started the process of finding artists earlier than in previous years, after working with the YCC to set a baseline figure for the committee’s budget.
In addition to the survey, the committee also uses a variety of other methods to try to understand the genres and artists that currently interest students, Solot-Kehl said. Committee members look at Spotify and Billboard charts, attend different parties and go to Woad’s to “see what Yalies are singing the loudest to,” he explained.
Bleuel said the Spring Fling committee is constrained in its choices because Yale has a small budget for the event compared to other schools.
“We also have a tighter budget because of the vision that it’s the biggest party on campus and we want everyone to feel invited, so we choose to keep it free for all students whereas other schools might sell tickets,” Bleuel said. “We don’t want someone to have to think twice about going to this amazing event. That being said, we’ve consistently had a pretty solid lineup.”
At Woads, the crowd of dancers reacted enthusiastically to the news that A$AP Ferg will headline Spring Fling, despite technical problems with the YCC’s announcement video, which featured Psychology and the Good Life professor Laurie Santos. “It was disappointing that the video didn’t work, but I’m just looking forward to Ferg,” said Simon Ghebreyesus ’21.
Other students said they shared his excitement about A$AP Ferg’s performance.
“I only know A$AP, but the others sounded fine,” Harry Westbrook ’21 said. “The rap and EDM sounded like a good mix.”
This year’s Spring Fling will take place on April 28.
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