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Weekend welcomes spring traditions, headliners

Despite ticketing issues, BCA members and students said the festival ran relatively smoothly

Spring Weekend festivities elicited praise from concert attendees this year, as many students indicated satisfaction with the Main Green performances of headliners A-Trak and Kendrick Lamar Friday and Saturday.

“The concerts ran really smoothly,” said BCA Publicity Chair Raillan Brooks ’13, adding that BCA “did not encounter any serious issues” that complicated the concerts. “The lineup made a lot of people happy.”

TouchNet, a third-party ticketing service, experienced technical issues April 15, the first day of ticket sales, preventing thousands of students from purchasing tickets, The Herald previously reported. But Brown Concert Agency successfully resumed the sale of tickets later that day.

Though some students expressed frustration with the difficulty of securing tickets for the concerts, others said the musical acts complemented each other smoothly to make for an entertaining respite before reading period.

Buying tickets to the concerts has always been a frustrating experience, but BCA did a good job releasing more tickets later in the day when problems with TouchNet emerged, said Josh Sung ’13.

What Cheer? Brigade — a Rhode Island-based brass band — and hip-hop artist Big Freedia warmed up the crowd Friday night before A-Trak took the stage, while rock band Dirty Projectors opened Saturday afternoon’s concert. The indie rock group Deerhunter also performed Saturday prior to Lamar’s arrival on stage.

“A lot of student interest was well-represented” by the different musicians, said BCA member Emily Maenner ’16. BCA received complaints in past years about the lack of a “classic rock act” during Spring Weekend, Maenner said, adding that the inclusion of Deerhunter was an effort to appeal to rock fans.

Dirty Projectors appealed mostly to the “indie Pitchfork crowd,” Maenner said, referring to the independent music review site Pitchfork, while Big Freedia was “definitely a spectacle” focused primarily on visuals.

“It all meshed well together,” said Henry Knight ’16, who attended both concerts. Knight said he did not have high expectations for any single performer because he had not listened extensively to the artists’ music but was “pleasantly surprised” by how well the performances fit “cohesively as a whole.”

Both headliners received favorable reviews from concert attendees. “Everybody was very amped up” during A-Trak’s performance, Angelica Nguyen ’14 said, citing the electronic artist as her favorite. Nguyen said she was not as pleased with Lamar’s performance, adding that the rapper seemed “not so enthusiastic.”

Vice President for Campus Life and Student Services Margaret Klawunn said administrators were generally pleased with how Spring Weekend ran this year, adding that the University encountered few problems over the weekend.

Emergency Medical Services transported a total of 17 students to hospitals downtown from campus, with six students transported Friday and 11 Saturday, Klawunn said. “Even one is always more than we want, but I think those numbers are pretty average,” she said. Sixteen students were transported to hospitals by EMS last year, The Herald reported at the time.

The University continues to develop alternative activities for students not interested in partying or attending the concerts during Spring Weekend, Klawunn said, citing the Class Coordinating Board’s late-night breakfast Friday and the silent rave hosted by the Student Activities Office and the Late Night Fund Saturday.

“We want to continue to think about making Spring Weekend something that everyone can be a part of,” Klawunn said.

Deerhunter was “a little strange” but students seemed to like them, Sung said, adding that he particularly enjoyed Lamar.

“Big Freedia was good but a little bit provocative for me,” and her performance lasted too long, said Elizabeth Jean-Marie ’15. Lamar “was awesome and somehow managed to keep the crowd pumped,” she added.

Friday’s concert “was basically a giant dance party,” said Nate Thomas ’14, adding that he was pleased with the music of student DJ Abe Arambolo ’14 between acts and that Big Freedia was his favorite performer.

While A-Trak and Lamar were touted as this year’s big-name stars, some students said their favorite part of the weekend was the atmosphere. “I basically like how everyone drops everything for the weekend and hangs out,” said James Giarraputo ’15.

Sunday’s performance on Wriston Quadrangle by folk musician Dave Binder — who has come to campus every Spring Weekend since 1987 — drew praise from students who noted his ability to rally the student body on the final day of the festivities.

“It just shows we don’t need a really flashy and expensive performer to come together and have fun,” Michelle Miller ’15 said, adding that Binder, who entertained the crowd with classic songs like Bruce Springsteen’s “Glory Days,” was her favorite performer of the weekend.


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