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Editorial | Spring Fling headliner choice uninspired

Published: Monday, March 4, 2013

Updated: Monday, March 4, 2013 02:03

Concert Board has announced that this year’s Spring Fling will be headlined by hip−hop recording artist Nelly, with opening acts by psychedelic pop band Yeasayer and DJ 5 & A Dime. The choice came after months of deliberations, in which members of the Board considered cost, popularity, and availability as criteria in their search for someone to make this Spring Fling a good one. That being said, the choice of Nelly as headliner can only be described as an uninspired choice of low originality and low risk, and of considerably lower quality than many other artists who would have been better choices.

Granted, Concert Board is limited by budgeting contraints, subject to artists’ availability. But it seems unlikely that more timely or more universally appealing artists were not available. The fact that Concert Board suggested that it was spending money on pyrotechnics instead is unfortunate. Certainly, Nelly’s popularity is not what it used to be, having peaked towards the middle of the last decade. The choice of an artist in a new and more vibrant genre would have created the same fun, party atmosphere at Spring Fling that the Concert Board was looking for while also engaging in something a little more original. Everyone has their own tastes, but even those who like the genre that Nelly participates in probably find him to be a lackluster candidate to perform.

Popularity aside, perhaps Concert Board might have heeded — or preempted — the calls for a female headliner for this year’s Spring Fling. Whether because of timing or intention, a female headliner is a very real and worthwhile possibility that has been once again brushed off. Instead, we will receive Nelly, whose songs sport lyrics and have been featured in videos that are rather demeaning to women, at this year’s Spring Fling. For a school that purports to hold values of equal treatment of women and all people to choose an artist who is at best unaware of such a cause and at worst part of the problem, is unfortunate and disappointing.

Certainly, Spring Fling will be fun for a good number of people. But for many others Nelly has proven a dull choice. Some students may find the lyrics to be lacking creativity. Others might have preferred music that’s nice to listen to, rather than just to dance to. Many have expressed disenchantment by the irrelevance of the music style in 2013. In the end, it is probable that this year’s Spring Fling will draw more than a few yawns and statements of “meh” than cheers or raving excitement.

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