Courtesy of the Spring Fling Committee

Spring Fling, the beloved day-long music festival, typically takes place every year on Old Campus in the time between the end of classes and the start of exams. However, due to COVID-19 restrictions, the festival  did not take place in 2020 or 2021, returning in full force this spring

The Spring Fling Committee, which derives its budget from the Yale College Council begins planning the event at the beginning of each school year. The featured artists for Spring Fling are selected through a process of group deliberation and a survey sent to Yale College students. 

Every year, the Battle of the Bands competition takes place in order to determine the opening acts for Spring Fling. Yale student artists and bands perform for their peers and later, students vote to determine which groups open for the Spring Fling headliners. 

After the opening performances, a variety of artists invited by the Spring Fling Committee perform for the Yale community on Old Campus. 

In 2019, the YCC announced ​​Lil Uzi Vert and Australian EDM DJ Anna Lunoe as the only headliners, though the Spring Fling the year before, in 2018, had four headlining artists. However, three days before the show, it was announced that Lil Uzi Vert would no longer be performing and was replaced by rapper Playboi Carti. 

“Spring Fling is a music concert by the student body, for the student body,” the Spring Fling Committee told the News. “This type of cancellation is always possible for any performer, and it is not the first time that an artist has canceled for Spring Fling.”

This Spring Fling was the last one to take place before the COVID-19 pandemic began, causing a three-year hiatus. 

In February 2020,  Spring Fling Committee announced an all-female lineup spanning four genres of music and including Ari Lennox, Elohim, The Aces and Rico Nasty. 

“We wanted to challenge ourselves to be more inclusive, and invite artists that speak to Yale’s diverse student body in terms of both musical interest and identity,” then-Spring Fling Committee Co-Chair Lydia Schooler ’21 told the News. “We have these conversations every year, but this year, the lineup diversity was really at the forefront of our minds.”

But the concert was canceled due to the COVID-19  pandemic as students returned home during the spring semester of the 2019-2020 school year. 

In early 2021, the Spring Fling Committee began to plan the event in hopes of conducting it in a hybrid format after 60 percent of the students surveyed had expressed interest in an in-person event. Nonetheless, its cancellation was announced on March 22, along with Battle of the Bands. 

“Spring Fling is often a time for celebration and joy for the Yale community, and we are deeply saddened by the fact that we cannot deliver that this spring,” the Spring Fling Committee members wrote to the News in March 2021. “We do, however, hope there will be further opportunities to gather in person safely next year, and are prepared to plan for such a situation.”

Finally, after the three year hiatus, Spring Fling once again took place in 2022. The concert was held on May 2 and featured artists Aminé, Japanese Breakfast, Masego and Sofi Tukker.

In advance of the concert, some students expressed disapproval over the invitation of the singer Masego due to his song “Navajo,” whose lyrics are regarded by many as anti-Indigenous. 

“Indigenous students should be free to attend Spring Fling without having to listen to a song that fetishizes Indigenous women, refers to them as Indians and compares them to monkeys,” the Native and Indigenous Student Association at Yale wrote in a public statement. “We encourage members of the Yale community to express their disapproval of Yale’s choice to invite Masego.”

Although NISAY publicly urged the Spring Fling Committee to advise against Masego performing “Navajo,” Committee Chair Olivia Marwell ’24 told the News that the Committee has no control over artists’ setlists. 

This year’s Spring Fling Committee was made up of 25 students.