Why hip-hop's hottest duo was chosen to headline this year's SpringFest
Unless you've been living with your head in the fountain, you have by now heard that this year's SpringFest headliner is Macklemore and Ryan Lewis. I checked in with Programming Board Manager Redd Barua-Norton to find out a little more about how the SpringFest artist was chosen.
When it comes down to it, with Macklemore's recent chart-topping success, not many people are questioning this decision. There are some who don't understand why we are hosting another hip-hop headliner. What PB is trying to do is give the Oxy student body what they want. Last summer, Oxy students responded to a survey regarding what type of music they wanted to hear at concerts. That survey showed that "Oxy students want to hear hip-hop and EDM [electronic dance music] by a very large margin over other genres of music," Redd says. "We had an EDM show in the fall and will be having a hip-hop show in the spring." Besides, as Redd puts it himself, "I know from experience, Macklemore and Ryan Lewis rock the venue whenever they perform, those guys know how to put on an incredible live show." Check out the YouTube video to see for yourself.
In the past couple of years there have been many conversations about SpringFest headliners and how they aligned with Oxy's stance on equity. Redd indicates that Macklemore and Ryan Lewis have a very socially conscious message (from battling with addiction to marriage equality) in a variety of their music, which he thinks will appeal greatly to the Oxy community. To try to get input on decisions like this, he also notes that there are several people that take part in the conversation. He says that this year it was a collaborative effort between PB, a representative from ASOC and Devon MacIver, Assistant Director of Student Life.
Of course there is still talk about who is opening. At different points there have been rumors about a female opener. Redd tells us at the time of the interview this isn't the case. While they were stills searching for an opener, it is "unlikely that the opener will be female." He cited difficulty finding one in the price range that we can afford who would also be a good fit for the show. At the time of this article, it was recently announced that Brothers from Another will be opening the main stage.
SpringFest is of course, more than just a concert. Once again this year, there will be a pre-show food truck festival for all and a beer garden for those in the 21+ crowd. The trucks rumored for this year's fest are The Green Truck, Kogi BBQ, Coolhaus, and Crepe n' Around. Also, reminiscent of 3 years ago when Nas headlined Oxy's first SpringFest, there will be a second stage with live music near the food trucks.
With only two weeks before the show, we hope that everyone will come out and enjoy this exciting event. For more information check out the concert posting on the Oxy main calendar. I know I'm excited for the whole day!