It’s safe to assume Metro Boomin trusts the University of Memphis as he is one of the headliners for Spring Fling 2017.
Metro Boomin, Rich Homie Quan and Travis Porter will all be performing at the annual concert Saturday. However, the selection of the main artist has some students feeling some “type of way.”
“This is my fourth year, and I don’t think I’ll attend because I look at the other Spring Flings, and I think the popularity has diminished over the years … They should really look into bringing more popular guests to the school,” interdisciplinary studies major Nick Bryant said.
Planning for the spring event starts six months ahead of time with student surveys. Spring Fling 2016 was the first year the Student Activities Council asked students to vote on the genre of the concert, and both that year and this year, hip-hop and R&B both came back as the top selected genres.
The committees then create a list of 30 to 35 artists they send to their middle agent, who serves as a liaison between the artists and the university. Once availability and pricing is presented, the board selects from those artists and goes to another board comprised of members from Student Government Association, SAC and administration, who make the final decision to make the contracts.
“(Students) pay student activities fees, but that funds so many different things,” 2016- 17 SAC president Tonika Ingram said. “Sometimes, there is a misconception that SAC has all this money to spend on all of these concerts, but that’s just not realistic.”
Ingram also said students forget the concerts are outside, and there are certain artists who will not do outside shows.
“Chance the Rapper will not do a college outdoor show, Chris Brown won’t do a college outdoor show, and Kendrick Lamar does not do college shows at all,” Ingram said.
SAC also competes with other major festivals in the spring. Coachella falls on the same weekend as Spring Fling each year, and most well known artists are performing at Coachella. In the beginning, SAC looked at Future and Lil Uzi Vert, but both are performing at the event.
“Once we realized that we couldn’t get some of those bigger name acts, we kind of shifted our focus to planning a festival-style show, and that’s why you see three headliners,” Ingram said.
Ingram said the U of M “is one of the very few schools in the region that offers the caliber of concerts it does as frequently as it does,” and many schools book artists the university has already hosted or have canceled their spring show like University of Tennessee, Knoxville.
In order to bring in some of the bigger names student are suggesting, SAC is now looking into a process where it will charge admission to non-students because students have given feedback previously saying they felt like they are paying for others to come to the concert.
SAC says they are committed to keeping costs as low as possible and giving students the “best bang for their buck.”
The festival will include local acts, vendors and food trucks on the lawn. The budget for the entire event comes from the allocation of student fees and the amount of students enrolled at the university.
“I’ve basically paid for it ... why wouldn’t I go?” international business freshman Joy Lang-Stone said. “I don’t honestly feel anyway about the artists because I’m not that into rap, but I believe overall it would be a nice event.