Guster, rapper Hoodie Allen, and 3LAU will headline this year’s Ivies weekend, the Entertainment Board (E-Board) announced on Wednesday.
3LAU, the stage name of DJ and producer Justin Blau, will perform in Morrell Gymnasium on Thursday, April 25. Guster and Hoodie Allen will take the stage on Whittier Field that Saturday. In the case of rain on Saturday afternoon, the concert will be held in Farley Field House.
The E-Board used the results of its October survey to decide which acts to bring to the College; Guster and Hoodie Allen were two of the most-requested groups listed on the survey, according to E-Board co-chair Michael Hannaman.
“Guster won a third of the votes in the ‘medium act’ category,” Hannaman said. “It felt right to put in a bid for them.”
“Hoodie Allen was the second most popular hip hop artist on the survey,” he added. Macklemore garnered more votes than Hoodie Allen, but Hannaman explained that the E-Board was unable to book Macklemore after his asking price rose quickly following the release of his debut album, “The Heist,” in October.
“I know a lot of people are probably thinking about Macklemore...back in October we sent a request out for him, but we were competing with a lot of festivals and schools with much bigger budgets, and his asking price just shot up exponentially,” Hannaman said.
Macklemore is scheduled to perform at Colby on April 12 and at Amherst on April 27. Colby students were asked to pay $15 for admission to the concert. Amherst students are entitled to one free ticket, but the Amherst Student reported that the college’s Program Board—Amherst’s equivalent of the E-Board—maxed out its $40,000 budget to secure the bid, and had to ask for an additional $5,000 of funding from Amherst’s student activities office.
The October E-Board survey asked students to indicate which genre they would prefer the Ivies acts to fall under, how many acts should ideally perform, and whether students would prefer one large act in the place of multiple medium or small acts.
“The genre part of the survey was split between a rap or hip hop artist, an alternative act and a DJ,” said Hannaman. “We got a lot of positive feedback from having Milkman last year, which was the first time we had a DJ act...[and] people were pretty split on whether they wanted two or three acts.”
Milkman, a DJ and mash-up artist, played at last year’s Ivies weekend, along with rapper Childish Gambino and the indie-pop band Phantogram.
The E-Board was working with a talent budget of $65,000 this year, the same budget as last year, according to both Hannaman and Associate Director of Student Activities Nate Hintze. The artists’ contracts stipulate that Bowdoin cannot disclose the booking fee per act.
“It’s not a huge budget by industry standards, but we’ve been successful in the past, and we hope that the campus is really excited about it,” said Hannaman.
Sophomore Anna Reyes was far from excited about the news, but expressed some interest in the lineup.
“I wasn’t expecting much, so I don’t really mind. I know 3LAU,” she said. “It seems appropriate for Ivies, but in terms of all the other ones I’m kind of ambivalent.”
Justin Wong ’13 was particularly excited about 3LAU, but felt a similar ambivalence about Hoodie Allen and Guster. He said he wished the E-Board did not feel obligated to bring in artists from several genres.
“Personally I don’t care about the range,” he said. “I just want the things I want.”
“I don’t know who any of them are,” said Molly MacVeagh ’15. “I think I probably will do some YouTubing.”
This Ivies is the first in many years during which campus-favorite Racer X, an ’80s cover band fronted by professors Vineet Shende and Aaron Kitch, will not perform on Thursday night. Both Shende and Kitch are on leave this year.
Many spring athletes, who have games at other schools on the Saturday of Ivies, will only see the Thursday night performance. Betsy Sachs ’14, a lacrosse player, said she will miss Racer X, but is excited to see an new act.
“I always loved Racer X, especially seeing your professors up there on the stage, but I’m very excited. I think that 3LAU will be really fun,” she said.
The E-Board released the news in a video posted to its Facebook page as part of an effort to hype up the annual weekend. The lineup did not come as a surprise to many on campus, as rumors had been circulating for weeks. But the E-Board could not confirm the lineup until it had approved the final contracts from the acts, the last of which was received over Spring Break. The E-Board works with the booking agency Pretty Polly Productions to bid on potential perfomers.
“It’s a long, drawn-out process,” said Hintze. “It took longer for the DJ choice to be made. We had all signed contracts by the middle of the second week of break.”
In an effort to tighten security at the concert, Hintze said that Bowdoin students will only be allowed to register three instead of five guests for Ivies weekend. Last year, 462 registered guests attended the concert, and visitors were accountable for the majority of run-ins with Security—one visiting University of Southern Maine student vomited in the C-Store, and three incidents involving Bates students were reported.
“The incidents that happened last year tended to be by the people who did have five guests,” said Hintze, who explained that the change is “for security purposes, and making sure that people are really accountable for their guests. It’s a really great time and the trouble usually happens with guests.”
The cost for students to register one guest is $20.
Ivies Weekend kicks off Thursday, April 25 with a DJ set by 3LAU in Morrell Gymnasium.
-Garrett Casey contributed to this report.