UB students react to Spring Fest lineup of Wiz Khalfia, Zara Larsson and Hippie Sabotage

Students voice frustration with lineup


Moments after Student Association announced this year’s Spring Fest lineup, UB students flocked to Twitter, expressing their displeasure with the artist selection.

On Tuesday afternoon, SA announced Wiz Khalifa would headline this year’s Spring Fest scheduled for April 28 in Alumni Arena. Swedish singer Zara Larsson and EDM duo Hippie Sabotage – comprised of brothers Kevin and Jeff Saurer – will accompany Khalifa on stage.

All undergraduate students who pay the $104.75 mandatory student activity fee get into the concert for free as long as they reserve and pick up a ticket.

From tweets to grin-evoking memes and gifs, students didn’t hold back their feelings.

After interviewing 50 students, The Spectrum didn’t speak to anyone who was excited about this year’s headliner. The general consensus is that this lineup would have been good in 2011 when Khalifa peaked after his “Black and Yellow” release. Other students expressed more interest in seeing Larsson and Hippie Sabotage.

Khalifa’s last substantial releases Rolling Papers and Blacc Hollywood were released in 2011 and 2014, respectively. Khalifa is known for performing old hits like “Black and Yellow” and “We Dem Boyz” on tour.

The rapper released “See You Again” in 2015 for “Furious 7” and “Sucker for Pain” last year for DC’s “Suicide Squad,” but most students are unaware the rapper released a new album Khalifa last year.

Even with the release of Khalifa, his newer music is less upbeat and more commercial.

Justin Young, a freshman computer engineering major, called the lineup “ridiculous.”

“I’m definitely not going,” Young said. “I’ll be at Buff State instead. I’ve never even heard of the other two artists besides Wiz. I think we definitely could have had someone better for way cheaper than whatever Wiz is charging.”

Young said he wasn’t a fan of last semester’s Fall Fest artist Lil Yachty, but would rather sit through an entire show of him shouting “little boat” than attend this year’s Spring Fest.

Students were also displeased with SA’s choice for openers.

Some students didn’t know of the duo Hippie Sabotage, despite some of their singles – such as “Your Soul” – reaching over 22 million streams on Spotify.

Larsson released her second studio album So Good in March, but she’s better known for her guest appearances on other artists’ tracks. David Guetta featured her on his 2016 single “This One’s For You.”

Brian Evans, a sophomore English major, thinks SA should find artists who release new material around the time of Spring Fest.

“SA is usually really good about getting artists to perform right before they drop new material,” Evans said. “Wiz hasn’t released anything substantial in a few years. I don’t know why they didn’t get J. Cole or Kendrick Lamar.”

Evans said he plans on attending the event and he hopes others will too.

“It’s a free concert so why not go?” Evans said.

Rob Santander, a sophomore communication major, is a fan of Wiz and is excited for his part of the show.

But he questions SA’s other artist choices.

“It seems like they panicked and ran out of time to pick artists,” Santander said. “Compared to last year, I think they weren’t as prepared for this show.”

The university’s restrictions causing SA to hold the fest inside also upsets Santander, who has never been to a fest that was held outdoors.

“I feel like people are annoyed by the whole thing,” Santander said. “I’m still going even though it’s inside, but it’d be nice to have it outside for once.”

Other students were more upset with the lineup being released so late.

Jemy Chen, a junior mathematics major, said he won’t be attending this year’s Spring Fest because he couldn’t call off of work soon enough.

“I didn’t know who was coming so I didn’t call off of work and now I can’t go,” Chen said. “To be honest, I would’ve liked to go despite such a lousy lineup, but that’s not possible now.”

Max Kalnitz is the senior arts editor and can be reached at max.kalnitz@ubspectrum.com.