Dance and hip hop musician Baauer will headline Spring Weekend 2016. The musician, whose real name is Harry Bauer Rodrigues, released his debut album Aa on March 18. He will perform at Wheaton on April 16.
You may know of him because of his single, “Harlem Shake,” that took the internet by storm in 2012. Since then, he’s gotten distinguished artists to feature on his 13-track LP. Names you might know include Future, M.I.A. and Pusha T. He’s also worked on tracks with AlunaGeorge, Rae Sremmurd and Fetty Wap, and has remixed popular songs from Jay-Z, What So Not and Disclosure, to name a few. After the concert at Wheaton, he will fly to California to perform at Coachella the next day. Wheaton hasn’t had a Spring Weekend artist like Baauer before, and the concert itself is sure to stun.
“Why didn’t we get Kanye?”
“I love Beyonce! We should get her!”
“OMG Justin Bieber plz!!
These types of questions have a simple answer: money. Your college’s Programming Council, or PC, works with a budget of $20,000-$25,000 specifically to pay our Spring Weekend headliner. This startling amount does not, however, include our other expenses for both Friday and Saturday. These can cost up to an additional $35,000, and include stage, sound, backline, lighting, a generator, security, travel, accommodations, hospitality, novelties, advertising and more.
So, how did we choose Baauer? First of all, people mention artists to Programming Council members all the time. When an artist is brought up, it is included in a list. This list is constantly being expanded throughout the Fall Semester. I also sent several campus-wide emails out about how to give Programming Council suggestions for featured artists. The email tells of a special box that was sitting in Balfour for roughly a month, where people could submit little pieces of paper with their artist recommendations. We put all of these submissions on our list. In addition, we take many suggestions from Programming Council members themselves, as they have a better idea about who we can afford to have come.
Throughout the last year I have thoroughly researched pricing lists, music festival lineups, weblogs, published playlists, iTunes resources, Spotify and the radio through multiple sources. Not only do I listen to one of an artist’s most popular songs and proceed to freak out, but I listen to many of their other songs, lyrical content, and public reputation as performers. And that’s not all! One of the most important things to consider when listening to an artist is how they sound live. I won’t bash any genres here, but some music doesn’t translate to a very good live performance. Think about it.
After compiling a big ol’ list, Lizette Zajko of SAIL, (who is now Programming Council’s direct advisor), and myself narrow it down. We cross names off based on conflicting tour dates, bad public reputations and expensive booking fees. One rather large obstacle this year was Coachella, a ridiculously large music festival in California that takes place during our Spring Weekend. There are many new and energetic artists that we had to cross off our list due to this time conflict. From there, we send a list to our middle agent, who returns with a bunch of price quotes. The artists that are deemed affordable are thoroughly discussed by members of Programming Council, we establish some sort of ordered list, and then the real work begins. Now, it is time to put bids in. Oh, and this all happens before January 1, 2016.
After about two months of anxiously waiting, some miscommunication, and two heart-dropping rejections, we received a bid confirmation for Baauer. Throughout this two-month period I would exchange emails with our middle agent, who would also send me artist recommendations almost bi-weekly. With his help and advice, the list itself changed slightly. The two rejections had been from artists on Programming Council’s list. Baauer and several other artists our middle agent and I were discussing came to the forefront, and we had to make a decision, pressed for time. This all had to stay confidential after January 1, so all communication took place between our middle agent, Andrea Holden and Lizette Zajko of SAIL, and me. After a bid confirmation, formalities come, from riders, contracts and the staging agency, to name a few. I’ll spare you the details.
So in the end, we have a solid Spring Weekend performer, and a concert all set up for Wheaton to enjoy. Not every single person will like the concert, but that’s okay. Not everyone understands the brutal constraints of our school’s small budget, and that’s understandable. And some people may just throw thoughtless opinions to the air, because it’s fun to complain.
With all sarcasm aside, my name is Jacob Horowitz. I am your elected Programming Council Chair for the 2015-2016 academic year. I believe we have put together one of the greatest Spring Weekends to date. Come to the concert! Don’t forget to be safe! Baauer is really an incredible, up-and-coming artist, who will give you a spectacular performance.
I am very friendly and approachable, and would love to answer any of your questions! If you would like to help out during Spring Weekend, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. That’s all folks!