Childish Gambino will headline this year's Ivies Concert, along with the indie-pop duo Phantogram and the DJ mash-up artist Milkman, according to the Entertainment Board (E-Board).
Ivies, which will take place Saturday April 28, is the biggest show the E-Board plans each year and is both eagerly anticipated and widely attended by students.
The E-Board's primary considerations in selecting the acts were the results of a student survey conducted last semester. The form sought to determine how many acts students wanted, their genre preferences, and their favorite artists.
"The vast majority wanted three smaller acts," said Ruiqi Li '13, E-Board co-chair. The results also demonstrated the three most popular genres were hip-hop and rap, rock/alternative/indie, and electronic house music.
"We wanted to fill all of those genres because they were the biggest" in terms of student demand, said Li.
E-Board Member Peter Kringdon '14 explained that the E-Board particularly focuses on the genre preferences, "because a lot of time passes between when we give the survey and when we actually send out contracts," and prices for artists can change with time.
The E-Board's total budget for Ivies is between $90,000 and $100,000, and of that, $65,000 is allocated for covering talent costs, according to Nate Hintze, associate director of student activities. As artists gain popularity and their booking fees rise, they can sometimes fall outside the E-Board's price range.
The E-Board cited the DJ Avicii as a prime example. Avicii received strong support in the student survey and according to Antonio Watson '12, E-Board co-chair, the E-Board had strategized about contracting the artist as early as last summer. However, Avicii's fee has skyrocketed since then.
"It went from being $10,000 to $15,000 to around $50,000," or the lion's share of the E-Board's entire talent budget, according to Hintze.
Watson said that Childish Gambino also drew substantial interest from the student body.
"He surveyed really well. We heard campus loud and clear that he was someone people were excited about."
Childish Gambino's performances are typically a mix of rap and stand-up comedy—one of his other talents. For Ivies, however, he is contracted solely for musical performance, although his set will be longer than the standard 60 minutes. Watson explained Childish Gambino's contract stipulated 75 minutes, which is his normal set time.
Booking Milkman also reflects the survey responses.
"DJing in general got a large response on the survey," said Kringdon. Milkman is "up-and-coming, so we thought it was a perfect time to introduce him."
The E-Board is somewhat limited by artist tour schedules in picking acts for Ivies. Typically, Ivies performers incorporate the show at Bowdoin into an already-planned tour through the region. This year, however, that is not the case. Watson explained that both Milkman and Childish Gambino are travelling to Maine specifically for Ivies, and Phantogram will have just wrapped up a European tour.
Between now and the end of April, the E-Board will be working on planning and logistics for the concert, as well as working with the Bowdoin Music Collective to organize a Battle of the Bands competition to select a student band to open for the three acts.
Unlike last year, the contest for the opener will be divided into two rounds, both of which will take place after spring break. The first round will be in Jack Magee's Pub, organized by the Bowdoin Music Collective. Four finalists will be chosen to compete at the Battle of the Bands the following weekend. The new format is intended to reduce the number of set changes during the show and wait time between bands. The winner will be chosen by a panel of judges.
"We're really excited and we hope everyone else will be too," said Li.