The Toad was hopping as the Yale College Council announced that Lil Uzi Vert will headline this year’s Spring Fling at Toad’s Place on Thursday at midnight.
After last year’s four act lineup, the YCC revealed that this year’s performance will feature Lil Uzi Vert as the only headliner as well as Australian EDM DJ Anna Lunoe. Music at the end-of-year extravaganza will feature rap tunes and EDM beats from the two artists.
“It was really important, especially this year, to listen to the student body,” said Caleigh Propes ’20, YCC events director. “Lil Uzi was the most popular artist on the survey and the second most popular last year, so we’re really happy to have him.”
A Northern Philadelphia native, Lil Uzi Vert, born Symere Woods, broke into the music scene in 2016 with his debut single “Money Longer,” which entered the Billboard Hot 100 at No. 92. Following his early success, the rapper earned his first number one single in the same year for his feature on the Migos single “Bad and Boujee.” His debut studio album “Luv is Rage 2” then took the number one spot on the Billboard 200 in August 2017. It is rumored that his second album will drop this year.
With over 13 million monthly listeners on Spotify, Lil Uzi Vert is one of the biggest names Spring Fling has ever seen, a feat the committee made possible by not splitting the budget among various artists, as they have done in the past. Propes added that the committee made this decision after receiving criticism for last year’s four act line up, adding that she hopes bringing a big name to the stage will “give the students what they want.”
Kazemi Adachi ’20 and Jay Son ’20, Spring Fling Committee co-chairs, said that they are equally excited to have Anna Lunoe in the line up.
“She’s a vocalist, producer, DJ and songwriter making moves in EDM — a male dominated field,” Adachi said. “We always try to have a balanced line up in consideration to gender and representation, and we are proud we can bring her.”
Lunoe’s first extended play “Anna Lunoe & Friends” received some attention when it was released in 2012 because of her collaboration with fellow Australian music producer and popular EDM artist Flume. Since then, Lunoe’s beats have been picked up by Skrillex, and she has performed in multiple festival circuits. She currently hosts “Anna Lunoe Presents: HYPERHOUSE” through Apple’s Beats 1 Radio and will be performing at Coachella for the second year in a row on April 12 and 19, just one week before Spring Fling.
According to Propes, booking artists was more challenging this year because of Spring Fling’s proximity to other events, like the Easter holiday.
“This year was especially difficult music-wise because of Easter and Coachella,” Propes said. “[The weekend of Spring Fling] was the only open weekend for a lot of colleges across the country, so we had to act fast.”
Propes said that the committee usually tries to book artists by winter break, but this year pushed their deadline up to Thanksgiving break to bring Lil Uzi Vert to Yale. She added that the search for performers can begin as early as May of the previous year, and that by confirming the line up earlier, the committee has had time to work on other aspects of the festival.
Son said that the team members have been looking to “diversify the space” on Old Campus with temporary architectural structures. They have prioritized communication with graduate and professional students who account for almost half of the 9,000 annual attendees.
As the YCC announced the Spring Fling performers in a video on stage at Toad’s Place, the dance floor erupted into cheers. Lena Chan ’21 told the news that she was “stoked” to see Lil Uzi Vert in the lineup, adding that she thinks the event will be “really fun.”
However, some students like Hero Magnus ’22 were not entirely impressed by the lineup.
“Oh, Lil Uzi Vert? I don’t know him,” said Magnus. “I thought it was Flume, and I felt great, but now I don’t feel so great.”
Of the five students interviewed by the News, only two knew Lil Uzi Vert’s music. Still, all of the students said that they were excited to participate in the day’s festivities on April 27 — regardless of the lineup.
Audrey Steinkamp | firstname.lastname@example.org