SA announces Fall Fest changes and lineup

Vince Staples, Ashanti, American Authors headline three-show concert series

mattandkim

The Student Association announced its Fall Fest Concert Series on Friday, with three separate shows held at the Center for the Arts throughout the semester.

Vince Staples will headline the Sept. 21 hip-hop event, with support from openers Taylor Bennett and Blaise Moore. The Oct. 6 concert will feature alternative rock artists American Authors and duo Matt and Kim at the CFA, with the final Nov. 10 concert bringing headliner Ashanti, as well as supporting acts Tinashe and Queen Naija.

The Fall Fest Concert Series marks a turn for the yearly fest, bringing three different events aimed at diversifying the artists performing at UB. SA President Gunnar Haberl wouldn’t confirm the final cost of the fest because he said artist contracts haven’t been “finalized.” He said SA is saving venue money by having the event in the CFA and putting that money toward talent costs.

“The traditional Fall Fest has seen rising costs, a decline in attendance, a lack of featured music genres, and a lack of available dates, making it infeasible to put on a good, quality Fall Fest that appeals to a greater undergraduate population,” Haberl said in the SA press release.
The release states that the “revitalization” was to reach a larger undergraduate population.

Chris Luther, a junior civil engineering major, prefers the expansion of Fall Fest over the usual format, but isn’t a fan of the performers.

“It’s sick that they split the show up, but all the performers blow,” Luther said. “ People will only really go to the first one. I have no clue who anyone else is.”

Haberl said the decision to change the format was “not an easy process,” and spent the summer thinking of how to respond from 2017’s Fall Fest turnout of over 4,000 students. He said the changes have been weighed for some time although “no one has taken the initiative to do it.”

Haberl said the new format will serve as a practice run for future fests, in order to evaluate how the concert series will do in comparison with a traditional fest. Harberl described the process of picking artists as looking at the top three genres taken from student opinion surveys.

The CFA will allow for general admission seating and ticket reservations for the concert series, according to Haberl. A student-wide email will be sent out to undergraduates about a ticket release system available to all if reserved tickets are not scanned within twenty minutes, Haberl said.

Rami Dandrey Cesar, a senior studio arts and photography major, has attended multiple festivals while at UB.

“I feel like its a step toward the right direction in trying to accommodate everyone with different music tastes,” Cesar said. “Students should have more of an say about where their money goes for events like this but within reason for the budget.”

Tyree Singleton, a senior industrial engineering major, is looking forward to the diversity at the Fall shows.

“I always prefer rap concerts because the energy is really high, but I like indie music too. Getting to see Matt and Kim is going to be great,” Singleton said. “I just wish it was more cohesive, like why are Vince Staples and Taylor Bennett on the same lineup? They should’ve had someone harder in my opinion.”

Haberl said Spring Fest will remain untouched until SA meets over the winter break to discuss a potential format change.

The arts desk can be reached at arts@ubspectrum.com