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Concert Board selects Spring Fling artist, will release name soon

Published: Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Updated: Tuesday, February 18, 2014 11:02

spring fling

Justin McCallum/Tufts Daily Archives

Tufts Concert Board has selected the headliner for this year’s Spring Fling concert based on a survey taken by 1600 Tufts University students.

According to Concert Board co-chair Mark Bernardo, survey responses suggested that students’ preferred music genre was hip-hop. While Concert Board has chosen an artist, they will not release the name for another three weeks, Bernardo, a junior, said.

“[I] can’t say if it’s a group or a solo artist,” Bernardo said. “Trust us, we want to tell everyone.”

In addition to voting on genre, survey participants were asked what they considered to be the most important aspect of Spring Fling, Emily Schacter, the other Concert Board co-chair, explained.

“Survey results said that students really just want a big-name artist, someone recognizable, someone current,” Bernardo said.

Bernardo said that after receiving negative feedback about last year’s selection, Concert Board’s main focus this year was finding a contemporary artist that would please students.

“We faced a lot of criticism last year that our headliner wasn’t as current or relevant,” Bernardo said. “We chose Nelly ... people [still] enjoyed the performance, though, because he’s a great performer [with] so many hits. So we’re trying to make this Spring Fling really great, in terms of relevance and [getting] someone popular.”

Schacter, a sophomore, agreed and said that Concert Board hopes the artist will satisfy students with a wide range of taste.

“We’re really working to kind of please everyone and get [artists that represent] a diverse array of genres,” she said.

Bernardo explained that this year’s headliner was selected in December — earlier than usual — for several reasons. He said that Concert Board must work with a normal calendar rather than Tufts’ academic one and that the earlier election gives Schacter, who is new to her role, time to adjust. 

Office for Campus Life Assistant Director David McGraw added that the process was sped up when Concert Board’s first bid was accepted.

“Typically, we go through three or four artists before we are able to find the one that works with our date and our budget,” he said. “This year, the first person we went after, who was our top choice, accepted right away.”

Choosing artists for Spring Fling is a lengthy process that begins immediately after the previous year’s event, according to Bernardo and Schacter.

“We go to Concert Board ... and we draw up a huge list of current hip-hop artists that they [the students] know and like, and then we boil it down from there,” Bernardo said.

According to McGraw, Concert Board works with an agent who provides them with a long list of all the artists who are touring at the time of Spring Fling.

“Then it’s a matter of matching the artist that we like with the budget that we have and then submitting bids,” McGraw said.

The total Spring Fling budget from the Tufts Community Union Senate is approximately $225,000 this year, according to McGraw. The money covers three to four artists, hospitality, free pizza, free water, security, facility rentals, cleanup costs, staging and production.

He said that students will be able to receive one free ticket and will have the option of purchasing up to four additional tickets at $25 apiece.

“We call it a closed event to Tufts where the general public [is] not able to purchase tickets on their own, but if a Tufts student has four friends that go to a different college, they can purchase tickets on their behalf,” McGraw said.

According to Schacter, Concert Board is still brainstorming how to publicly release the lineup and is looking for a way to reach as many students as quickly as possible.

This year’s Spring Fling will be held on Saturday, April 26 on the President’s Lawn. The student band winner of Battle of the Bands will open at 11 a.m. and will be followed by several other openers and the headliner. The event will end at 5 p.m., according to Bernardo.

“It’s kind of like an outdoor music festival of sorts ... I think it’s safe to say that this Spring Fling is going to be pretty great,” Bernardo said.

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