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Goldlink to headline Spring Concert

<r’s Spring Concert Committee is working with a $115,000 budget and has selected GoldLink, up-and-coming rapper from Washington D.C., as the headliner.

Headliner Leak

A week prior to the Spring Concert Committee’s official announcement, student publication The Carl published GoldLink’s promotional poster on its cover.

The leak was somewhat mysterious. GoldLink’s photo and name were printed, but were not tied to an article or attributed to a writer. Editors at The Carl declined to comment for this article.

Spring Concert Committee Co-Chair Nate Grein ’17 did not find the leak surprising, given his impression that rumors of GoldLink as the headliner were floating around campus before The Carl published the photo. However, Grein said the leak was frustrating “because it was clear that the marketing committee had been working toward something and to not have that go over how we imagined is a little irritating.”

The committee originally announced that the release was contingent on the Spring Concert Facebook page reaching 1,600 likes, but planned to reveal the headliner fifth week regardless. “We set a pretty ambitious goal of 1,600 people, and it was getting to the end of the week,” said Cheng ’18.

The 1,600-likes plan was less about the announcement and more about publicizing the Facebook page, according toGrein. The Facebook page has garnered 1,412 likes.

On Friday, April 28, the Spring Concert Committee made its official announcement about GoldLink via TV screens around campus and on the Spring Concert Facebook page.
Spring Concert leaks have not happened in the past, according to Spring Concert Committee Co-Chair Avery Cheng ’18. “The leak wasn’t very considerate of the Spring Concert Committee because we put in a lot of work to do a lot of marketing. But it’s gonna happen, we can’t do anything about it,” she said.

Ultimately, Grein sees the leak as simply a source of promotion, which will help get the word out about GoldLink. “No harm done,” he said.

Selecting the D.C. Rapper

GoldLink came up as a possible headliner in the Spring Concert Committee’s discussions fall term, according to Cheng.

“GoldLink came up pretty early because he performed at Soundset last year and a lot of Carls came back and said he was amazing,” Grein said.

“He’s known for having a ton of energy and playing really danceable hip-hop music. So he’d been on my radar for a while, and as we started looking at other artists, it was clear that GoldLink brought a type of excitement to the stage that a lot of other, more expensive artists didn’t.”

Choosing Spring Concert artists is a matter of brainstorming, researching and voting, according to Cheng.

The Committee, composed of about 15 students, suggests ideas about musicians they would like to have perform. Next, the co-chairs contact the artists’ agencies to request a quote and to inquire about availability. Then, if the price tag is within the Committee’s range, the co-chairs pose the idea back to the whole Committee.

When making the decision, the Committee takes into account the artist’s genre and quote, Cheng explained. This year, the Committee administered a survey through SAO to find out the student body’s genre preferences. Over 100 people responded to the survey, and pop and rap were found to be the most widely favored genres, said Grein.

In addition, the Committee tries to identify a musician who “maybe not everyone knows, but is supposed to put on an incredible performance, and is cheaper than those names that have a big draw but might be disappointing,” explained Grein.

“We throw out names throughout fall and the beginning of winter,” he said.

“Then we start watching tons of film and listening to them and reading reviews of their shows, as well as looking to see if they’re releasing new music.”

GoldLink recently released his third studio album, At What Cost, on Friday, March 24. This new LP has given GoldLink a lot of press and was a significant factor in his selection for Spring Concert, according to Grein.

In the end, the Committee narrowed the headliner decision down to three artists. For instance, the Committee seriously considered rapper D.R.A.M., but he proved too expensive, according to Grein.

The Committee used a few forms of voting systems, all of which resulted in GoldLink being the highest ranked, Grein explained.

“There was a lot of discussion, but we took time to make sure that everyone was excited for GoldLink, and everyone was,” Cheng said.

Final Cost

The Committee’s  $115,000 budget was determined last year during CSA spring allocations. Each year, the Spring Concert Committee requests a certain amount from CSA for the coming year.

Because Spring Concert is one of the few events that take place after spring allocations, the current year’s budget cannot be used as a reference point for next year’s, Cheng said. “It’s kind of like leapfrog, so every two years we get an additional amount of money because we proved that we used that sum of money before.”

According to Cheng, the budget can be roughly broken down into fees regarding music, hospitality, set-up and supplies. Artist fees comprise the largest section of the budget, totaling about $60,000.

Hospitality is a rather variable component because it attempts to cover whatever amenities the musicians request, such as meals or transportation.

The set-up component involves essentials like tents and lights, while supplies is a rather miscellaneous category, including glow paint, the snow-cone machine and fireworks.

The Spring Concert Committee mainly deals within the artist budget, while the professional staff in the Student Activities Office handles tents, stage set-up and correspondence with the companies involved.

Last year’s Spring Concert cost $99,120 according to Ana Sontag, assistant director of student activities.

Sontag explained that when allocating funds for 2017, the 2016 Committee wanted to allow for a larger music budget, so the approximately $15,000 increase went primarily toward artist fees.

“We won’t know the final Spring Concert expenses until after the event. However, we are anticipating to use the full budget,” she said.

GoldLink was significantly less expensive than other artists given the quality of his shows, Grein noted, which factored into the Committee’s decision.

GoldLink’s price freed up money for the other acts, Grein explained. “Last year, it was a great Spring Concert, but not many people watched the opening acts,” he remarked. “Why was that? Because we didn’t spend any time on it. We just got three artists we weren’t all that excited about, to be honest, and I think it showed in audience participation,” he said.

This year the Committee is excited about the full lineup.

“What we want to work on is hammering out that headliner for an affordable price and then working on developing a sick undercard,” Grein said. “It’s top to bottom a really great lineup.”
The lineup will likely be announced today, according to Grein. “Every artist is locked-in and confirmed. It’s just a matter of sending signatures back and forth,” he said.

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