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Diverse Spring Fest lineup the right choice for UB Student Association

SA brings in EDM, hip-hop and indie for annual concert


For the past few years, Spring Fest has been a mixed bag when it comes to performers. Fall Fest has seemed to bring in a steady collection of hip-hop music, while its spring counterpart has seen alternative, pop and even the controversial choice of country.

This year’s Spring Fest will feature headliner The Chainsmokers, as well as Mac Miller, Icona Pop and Coleman Hell – a combination of electronic music and dance (EDM), hip-hip-hop and indie music and a clear effort to please as many students as possible.

And for that effort we applaud the Student Association. Every undergraduate student helps shells out $104.75 a semester to help fund the concert, so although we’re sure there are some disappointed students out there, incorporating as many acts as possible is the right move.

However the way the lineup fits together is a little confusing – it’s reminiscent of the Kendrick Lamar, Steve Aoki and Krewella Spring Fest of 2013, which combined both hip-hop and EDM.

Mac Miller came out with his latest album, GO:OD AM, in September 2015, so he has some newer material to compliment Blue Slide Park and K.I.D.S, which many UB students probably remember listening to in high school.

His addition to the Spring Fest lineup is a bit surprising, since it seemed unlikely that hip-hop would be part of the show after a hip-hop dominated Fall Fest.

Mac Miller isn’t exactly a big name in rap or hip-hop, but he’ll make for a good throwback artist - remember when T.I. came in 2014? - and his newer music is jam-worthy.

The Chainsmokers are a sleeper pick. They almost get lost in the slew of other artists, but they may be the best of the bunch – they are the headliner after all. The group came onto the scene with their hit “#Selfie” and has maintained popularity with songs like “Roses” and “Kanye.” Their spot in the lineup is perfect for the electric music crowd, who were probably upset when SA did not hold a standalone EDM fest outside of Spring Fest as it did last year.

But The Chainsmokers are mainstream enough to appeal to the general population of students and music lovers.

The other two artists – Coleman Hell and Icona Pop – bring less to the table. Icona Pop’s hit “I Love it” seems to be the most noteworthy music out of the set, but students will be stuck looking up the artists to see what they’re about. Coleman Hell’s “2 Heads” just recently hit the mainstream. This part of the lineup is less surprising, since SA has brought in relatively unknown artists with just a few hits the past few years. The two will serve as openers, giving students the opportunity to trickle in and listen to them in the background while finding the perfect spot for the main attractions.

Since the alternative show featuring MS MR earlier in the semester saw a small crowd – just 204 students – it seemed natural to turn toward artists outside of that genre. This is the main event SA puts on this semester, so ensuring that there are genres that everyone will enjoy is important.

Overall, the mix seems to be an effective way to please most students, which should always be SA’s goal when selecting artists. Not to say that mix should come at the cost of a good show – few would want to hear an EDM set following a country set.

The Chainsmokers and Mac Miller should draw in a relatively large crowd and the other artists will make for a good show. Spring Fest tends to be hit or miss, but this year is an attempt to please everyone – as much as possible on a campus of nearly 20,000 undergraduates.

The editorial board can be reached at eic@ubspectrum.com.


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