The weather did not hold back Spring Weekend this year. Students celebrated performances and sunny skies as headliners Childish Gambino and the Glitch Mob took the stage – outside – for concerts Friday and Saturday on the Main Green.
Performances were met with a range of responses from students, but the sun was declared the hero of the weekend – last year, torrential rain forced both concerts indoors. Students danced and cheered – though they didn’t necessarily sing – during Friday openers Sepalcure and What Cheer? Brigade and Saturday’s Cam’ron, the Walkmen and Twin Shadow.
“Everyone was really pleased,” said Sandy Ryza ’12, administrative chair for the Brown Concert Agency. “We wanted to have the concert outside at all costs.” The BCA purchased 6,000 rain ponchos in case of bad weather, some of which were distributed Sunday during the downpour that met Dave Binder’s annual acoustic performance on Wriston Quadrangle.
Thanks to weekly safety meetings and crowd control at the concerts, the concert proceedings generally ran smoothly, Ryza said. “There were no crimes,” he said – only isolated incidents of fence jumping.
“The biggest problem was the tickets on Friday night,” he said, referencing long lines of students waiting to get into the concert. Entry into the Main Green was delayed for 30 minutes Friday due to Childish Gambino’s late arrival into Providence. The wait was exacerbated because Green Horn Management officials were not experienced with the new ticket system, with which students could have their tickets scanned directly from their smartphones, Ryza said. The BCA decided to stop scanning tickets until the line began moving.
Margaret Klawunn, vice president for campus life and student services, said the number of Emergency Medical Service calls was slightly higher this year than last – 16 individuals were transported to hospitals downtown from campus over Friday and Saturday. But according to the EMS director, “nobody was in very bad shape,” Klawunn said.
Klawunn said coordination between EMS and the Department of Public Safety was effective this year. This Spring Weekend was the second time administrators stationed EMS command posts on-site at the concerts.
Spring Weekend is “a tradition that the students value because it’s a time in the semester where they’re about to head into finals,” Klawunn said. She said that the concern is ensuring students enjoy the concert but also remain safe.
Many students said they were pleasantly surprised by the quality of the performances due to the obscurity of the acts.
Kathryn Hawrot ’14 said she enjoyed the music despite not being familiar with many of the bands. “Childish Gambino was good, but I felt like it was a little too long,” she said. “I would have liked it better if I had known more of the songs.”
Though Jane Chen ’13 was also unfamiliar with the artists, she said she enjoyed the general atmosphere of Spring Weekend. “It was much better than last year,” she said, “mostly because it was outside.”
Citing MGMT and Snoop Dogg – the Spring Weekend headliners in 2010 – as her favorite acts, Chen said she “paid very little attention to the music” this year.
Students who recognized some of bands – particularly fans of Donald Glover, the name of “Childish Gambino,” from NBC’s television show Community – said they were especially impressed.
Spring Weekend this year was the first for transfer student Deivid Ribeiro ’13, who was familiar with both Childish Gambino and the Walkmen. As an incoming student, the experience was overwhelming but “totally worth it,” he said, adding that “the music was great.”
Yongha Kim ’15 said the biggest disappointment was Sepalcure’s performance Friday. Kim said he enjoys Sepalcure’s music but thought that the band was out of place at Spring Weekend. Between the rousing in-crowd performance from What Cheer? Brigade and the headliner performance from Childish Gambino, “it was oddly timed,” he said.
“I liked Saturday a lot more,” Kim said. “My favorite was the Glitch Mob.”
Nia Campinha-Bacote ’15 and Russyan Mabeza ’15 said they did not attend performances on either day because they were not familiar with the acts.
“But I did love Fratty in the Ratty,” Campinha-Bacote said of the event organized by the Greek Council and Greek community, which opened the doors of the Sharpe Refectory to all students to offer free food and loud music.