SA announces The Band Perry to headline Spring Fest

Students have mixed reactions to choice of performers

The Spectrum

On Monday, the Student Association announced The Band Perry, Gloriana and Citizen Cope will perform Friday, May 2, at Spring Fest.

The event will either take place at Alumni Arena or in the Alumni A parking lot depending on the weather.

Students had varying reactions to the announcement.

"I think that that's the dumbest lineup I've ever seen in my life," said Temi Ola, a sophomore exercise science major. "Basically, we look bad. We're the biggest campus in Buffalo. Why do we have such a bad lineup? We could do better. [The SA] has so much money, and they're not doing nothing with it."

Freshman undecided major Kathryn McSpedon doesn't mind the change of genre from recent years, which have featured predominantly hip-hop acts. Rap/hip-hop has been a major part of the past four Fests.

"It's going to be nice to enjoy some country instead of rap," McSpedon said. "It's definitely a good change of pace and variety."

SA President Sam McMahon said his team chose country to bring variety to Spring Fest.

"It's impossible to make everyone happy," McMahon said. "And I completely expected that there would be a vocal number of students who had an issue with our genre of choice this year. But I think there are a lot of students who are also very appreciative, and we've had a lot of feedback from students who say, 'Finally, a Fest I want to go to. Finally, a Fest I'm interested in.'"

The budget is slightly below average for Spring Fest this year, according to SA Entertainment Coordinator Marc Rosenblitt.

"We are looking at about $190k in talent fees (includes all artist costs and agent fees), and about $125k - $150k in production costs; these costs vary depending on personnel costs, rider requirements and ultimate location of the show (inside vs. outside)," Rosenblitt wrote in an email to The Spectrum.

McMahon said the decision was also based on bringing comedian Aziz Ansari to campus to round out the SA Comedy Series. Ansari is performing April 28.

"Aziz was not a budgeted expense and we kind of made a decision," McMahon said. "We thought the students would really appreciate the chance to see Aziz Ansari. So we kind of made the tradeoff for a three-act Fall Fest in return for an extra comedian, who I think is a pretty big name."

The Band Perry is a Tennessee trio led by Kimberly Perry on guitar and vocals, alongside her siblings Reid and Neil.

The group is most known for the songs "If I Die Yong," "Better Dig Two" and "You Lie." The band performed at this year's Super Bowl pre-game party and the members serve as mentors on NBC's show "The Voice."

Rosenblitt said although there has been some uproar over the announcement, he thinks it will be a great event.

"Despite the loud voices on Facebook and Twitter, I have personally received more praise for our selection from students who are outside of the SA bubble than most of the past lineups," Rosenblitt said. "Despite the naysayers out there, I personally believe that this is going to be a great show with a ton of energy. I'm very hopeful that the weather will cooperate and we will be able to go outdoors."

Gloriana has written and produced two albums - a self-titled album, Gloriana (2009), and A Thousand Miles Left Behind (2010).

Six of the group's songs have been on Billboard's Top 40 Country Songs. "Wild at Heart" received gold status in U.S. record sales in 2010 and "Kissed You Goodnight" reached platinum status last year.

Citizen Cope will bring a musical fusion of soul, blues, folk and rock when he takes the stage to play an acoustic set. The solo artist's songs have been featured in shows like Entourage, Scrubs and CSI: Miami. His song "Let the Drummer Kick" was in the 2005 movie Coach Carter.

Doors will open at 5 p.m. and the show will commence at 6 p.m.