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Concert Board to pursue hip−hop headliner for Spring Fling

Published: Friday, January 18, 2013

Updated: Friday, January 18, 2013 08:01

hiphopheadliner

Oliver Porter / The Tufts Daily

Concert Board is in the process of courting a hip-hop headliner for the school’s annual Spring Fling concert in April.


Concert Board is preparing to contact potential artists for the school’s Apr. 27 Spring Fling concert, using the results of a survey sent out to all undergraduates last month.

The survey, which was available online for four days in December, asked respondents multiple questions, including the genre of music students prefer for the concert’s headliner band.

Hip−hop received the most votes, and the group will now try to find a hip−hop artist to headline the concert, according to Concert Board co−chair Mark Bernardo, a sophomore. Electronic dance, indie rock and pop music tied for second, and a band from one of those genres will likely be selected as the opener, he said.

This year’s survey was slightly different than that of last year, in which respondents voted by artist instead of by genre. Concert Board is not planning on sending out another survey with artist choices, Bernardo said.

The change in the survey was due in large part to the disappointment of the student body when the top choice, LMFAO, was unable to perform last year, according to Office for Campus Life Assistant Director David McGraw.

“We did genres this year because even though we put in a little blurb last year that these specific people would more than likely not be selected, people still got really upset,” he said. “We were less concerned about the individual artist that everyone wanted to bring but more concerned that we got a genre that people would appreciate.”

This year’s survey also included broader questions about the number of bands students would like to see and the aspects they find most important to a concert atmosphere.

“We decided to take this as an opportunity to look at the overall event as well, so we added the more generic questions,” McGraw said.

Bernardo explained that students overwhelmingly prefer to have one big−name artist and a lesser−known opener rather than two somewhat well−known artists. Students also selected the headliner as the most important aspect of the atmosphere, he added.

In addition to creating new questions, Concert Board changed the survey’s host from SurveyMonkey to Tufts’ own Qualtrics system, according to McGraw. This modification was because of potential inaccuracies experienced last year when certain students were suspected of designing a computer program to circumvent the one−vote−per−person limit.

“Giving [students] an opportunity to have a voice, we thought they would be a little more ethical with how they voted, so this year we decided we needed to put up some safeguards in an effort to get a good representation of everyone,” McGraw said.

According to Bernardo, about 1,400 people voted this year, and the process went smoothly.

“Our survey results are pretty accurate, and we made sure that they weren’t tampered with in any way so we didn’t experience any problems,” he said.

Although the concert’s format will remain the same, with the student−band winner of the Battle of the Bands also performing, McGraw said that Concert Board’s funding is lower than last year’s budget of about $150,000.

“[Tufts Community Union] Senate last year had a surplus amount of money, so they gave us additional funds as a one−time funding opportunity,” he said. “This year, since we didn’t have that as an option, we had to go back to our original amount of money, which was about $100,000 for artists.”

According to McGraw, Concert Board is now working with the booking agency Pretty Polly Productions to narrow down the list of bands that could fit within the school’s price range.

“It’s a process of putting in a number to an artist and having them come back to tell us whether or not the date works at the price range we are offering, and then trying to lock down the details,” McGraw said.

Concert Board hopes to announce the headliner during Battle of the Bands on Apr. 7, Bernardo said.

“We may have something finalized around February, but then that could fall apart because another university wants to book them and they outbid us,” he said. “We’ll do our best to find an artist that everyone is going to enjoy.”

Concert Board is preparing to contact potential artists for the school’s Apr. 27 Spring Fling concert, using the results of a survey sent out to all undergraduates last month.

The survey, which was available online for four days in December, asked respondents multiple questions, including the genre of music students prefer for the concert’s headliner band.

Hip−hop received the most votes, and the group will now try to find a hip−hop artist to headline the concert, according to Concert Board co−chair Mark Bernardo, a sophomore. Electronic dance, indie rock and pop music tied for second, and a band from one of those genres will likely be selected as the opener, he said.

This year’s survey was slightly different than that of last year, in which respondents voted by artist instead of by genre. Concert Board is not planning on sending out another survey with artist choices, Bernardo said.

The change in the survey was due in large part to the disappointment of the student body when the top choice, LMFAO, was unable to perform last year, according to Office for Campus Life Assistant Director David McGraw.

“We did genres this year because even though we put in a little blurb last year that these specific people would more than likely not be selected, people still got really upset,” he said. “We were less concerned about the individual artist that everyone wanted to bring but more concerned that we got a genre that people would appreciate.”

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