Something for Everyone at UB Spring Fest

A Combination of EDM and lyrical rap incites positive student reaction


Lea Mann is excited for Spring Fest because she is a fan of how “culturally relevant” the acts are along with the diversity of the musical genres.

“I love this line-up,” Mann, a freshman undecided major, said. “The Chainsmokers are hot right now and Mac Miller is my favorite rapper.”

UB’s Student Association (SA) has seen a lower turnout in the past couple of Spring Fests. This year’s concert on April 23 will feature The Chainsmokers, Mac Miller, Coleman Hell and Icona Pop. For the past two years, country music and small bands have dominated Spring Fest and students have voiced their displeasure with the lineups by not attending the events.

Even though the last two Fall Fests have been almost exclusively hip-hop acts, the genres represented were more diverse than their spring counterparts. Big Sean, a popular hip-hop act, was partnered with Jeremih, an R&B singer, for Fall Fest last semester.

UB students, who pay a mandatory student activity fee of $104.75 a semester to fund these concerts, clamored for even more diversity for future lineups.

The Chainsmokers are at the peak of their popularity right now. Their most famous single “Roses” was released in late 2015 and has already been played over a quarter billion times on the music-streaming app Spotify.

This lineup is reminiscent to the 2013 Spring Fest when Steve Aoki and Kendrick Lamar were the two main acts. Aoki was popular after the success of his 2012 album Wonderland and students were ecstatic to have him headline Spring Fest because of his cultural prominence at the time.

In 2013 Kendrick Lamar was fresh off the release of his immensely acclaimed album Good Kid, M.A.A.D City. Lamar had been an established artist, with three well-received projects before his breakout album.

Some students who haven’t attended past Spring Fests are looking forward to what this year will bring.

Haley Nelson, a sophomore health and human services major, is excited to hear tracks of Miller’s newest album GO:OD AM.

“I’m really excited to see Mac Miller perform songs off of his new album,” Nelson said. “I really enjoyed listening to it, it was his best work in a long time.”

The album was released on Sept. 18 and received exceptional reviews from those who were familiar with his past work.

Nelson enjoyed the album so much that she couldn’t pick a song she wanted to hear him perform the most.

“If I had to narrow it down it’s between “Weekend” featuring Miguel and “ROS (Rain or Shine),” Nelson said.

The opening act for this year’s Spring Fest, Coleman Hell, is a relatively new performer from nearby Ontario, Canada. His most popular single, “2 Heads” was played over 60 million times on Spotify. He’s gained relevance from his self-titled EP, but the Indie singer is still an unfamiliar face to UB students.

Coleman Hell’s music eclectically combines sounds from indie rock to folk music to electric. Although he is a fairly new artist, his inclusion into the lineup gives the concert more variety, appealing to the students who are not huge fans of EDM or rap. Kim Clendenning, a junior communications major, sees the lineup as a vast improvement over the last two Spring Fests she attended as a freshman and sophomore.

“I have no clue who Coleman Hell is, as long as his music isn’t hard to listen to I don’t mind that he’s coming,” Clendenning said. “Even with Coleman Hell coming, this lineup is still better than the last couple of Spring Fests.”

Alongside Coleman Hell is the pop duo Icona Pop. Their hit single “I Love It,” released in 2012, was widely played in clubs and on the radio, and was the number one pop song on the UK’s singles chart.

Although the band is mainly known for their only major single, the crowd will be able to feed off their energy and prepare for the main acts.

Spring Fest is Saturday, April 23 at 6 p.m. and doors open at 5 p.m.

Jamal Allard is the arts editor and can be reached at