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Phoebe Bridgers, KAYTRANADA, KeiyaA to perform at Spring Weekend

Brown Concert Agency announced their lineup for this year’s Spring Weekend concert April 10

Earlier today, the Brown Concert Agency announced that Phoebe Bridgers, KAYTRANADA and KeiyaA will be performing at Saturday night’s Spring Weekend concert. After being cancelled last year, the annual festival will return this year virtually on Zoom. 

Anticipation for the lineup release was high after a series of organizational challenges caused BCA to delay the announcement release multiple times. “There were a lot of unknowns with the virtual concert that we just didn’t anticipate having to talk about at every step of the way,” said BCA board member Lilly Pickett ’22.

Despite the wait, BCA delivered, and this year’s lineup promises to make Spring Weekend 2021 as iconic as its predecessors. Two of this year’s performers were nominated for Grammy Awards earlier this year (both Bridgers and KAYTRANADA were nominated for Best New Artist), and all released albums in 2020 that brought fresh sound to their respective genres.

“It’s never our thought to be like, ‘Oh we should get artists who are getting a lot of critical acclaim,’” said Seth Israel ’22, another BCA board member. “We’re mostly just excited about their music, but when (the Grammy nominations) came up … we were like, ‘well that would be pretty cool to have artists who have been nominated for a bunch of Grammys.” 

For folk rock singer Bridgers, 2020 was a breakout year. While Bridgers has had a cult following long before her recent acclaim, the release of her second solo album “Punisher” has made her a household name. Her “soft girl” Twitter personality of self-deprecating humor has pushed its way into her psychedelic, candid songs, turning her into something of an anti-pop icon. Unsurprisingly, the announcement of her performance at Spring Weekend sent shockwaves through the Brown Community.

“The fact that BCA landed that show is crazy to me and I can’t wait to cry with all my friends to (Phoebe’s) set” Evan Stein ’24 wrote in an email to The Herald.

What’s more, Bridgers’ honest discussions of mental health and unabashed queerness have had a deep and tangible impact on the lives of her fans.

“As part of the LGBT community, I’m really excited to see someone perform at Spring Weekend (who) has been such an influential artist for queer youth,” Sofia Gerlein ’24 wrote in an email to The Herald. “Her beautiful lyrics and delicate voice wonderfully describe what it means to experience love, heartbreak and everything in between.”

Bridgers “was kind of a name that we were thinking about from the start … I’m just glad she’s still doing shows at schools because I think she has gotten so big and we’re very lucky to have been able to have her come this year,” Pickett said.

Bridgers isn’t the only big name to perform at this year’s event. Louis Kevin Celestin, a Haitian-Canadian DJ and producer best known by the moniker KAYTRANADA, has been on the industry radar for years, working alongside the likes of Alicia Keys, Kali Uchis and Aminé. 

KAYTRANADA “is someone that we go back to every single year … and he’s just a very elusive name,” Israel said. “The fact that we could lock him down this year was really exciting.”

The third performer, KeiyaA, is an artist at the very beginning of her career, but she is already making waves in the music world. Based in New York City and raised in Chicago, the singer-songwriter’s 2020 debut album “Forever, Ya Girl” masterfully synthesizes jazz, R&B and hip hop. 

“(KeiyaA’s) name came up when we were talking about artists that we’ve seen have really good virtual sets,” Pickett said. 

Despite KeiyaA being a lesser-known artist, BCA members were sure that she would make an impression on students at the University. “I think it’ll be really exciting to have put the broader community onto her and just have her be in the dialogue at Brown,” Pickett said. 

It’s no understatement to say that the buzz around Saturday’s event is high, and the concert won’t be one to miss. Though the festival might not be in-person, organizers hope it will bring back a sense of tradition to a year that has been anything but normal.

“It’ll be really lovely to have all of the community doing this one thing all at once, even though we’re all across the country,” said Pickett. “We’ve been missing so much of (those community moments) this year, and already I’m just feeling so grateful that we can do this and that people are still excited about it.”


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