The wait is finally over as the Student Organization of Activity Planning (SOAP) revealed the artists for Gullfest via video release on social media.
SOAP continued the recent trend of multiple artists as opposed to getting one larger artist for the spring concert.
The concert will open with American DJ duo The White Panda, followed by hip-hop group Travis Porter and lastly rapper Kid Ink as the main attraction on May 6.
The total spending for the concert comes out to $72,500 with the individual breakdown for each artist being $12,500, $25,000 and $35,000 respectively.
“We were looking at getting one [artist for $75,000] but I was still scared that what if people are just mad about it and are just like well I don’t even like this [artist],” SOAP Concert Chair Shelby Tittle said. “That’s the whole reason I tried to do three because then at least maybe someone will like at least one of the people.”
The announcement comes rather late for SOAP with the reveal for last year’s Gullfest artists coming in early March. Students have been awaiting any information regarding the concert and with less than a month before the date they have their answer.
SOAP has continued to face mixed student response the past few years from Gullfest, and Tittle hopes that this year will start to help the events reputation on campus. The entire weekend has now been referred to as Gullfest while the specific concert on Sunday is now called ‘The After Party.’
The selection process was easier this year in comparison to years before, but still ran into some hiccups. SOAP worked this year with Degy Entertainment to facilitate negotiations between artists and also to plan the concert.
After initially receiving a list of potential artists within the selected rap genre, SOAP eliminated specific artists that were well out of their price range including Post Malone, Blackbear and Cardi B.
The next step is the approval of a shorter list by campus police. SUPD vets each potential act for Gullfest and later gives their approval. This year one specific artist that Tittle had her eye on was eliminated early.
“Ty Dolla $ign was on our hot list but he didn’t get approved from University Police, I really wanted to get him,” Tittle said. “I was really banking on Ty Dolla $ign I thought that would be a really good concert.”
Through Degy, the next step was to discuss pricing once the list had been limited down to a small group of finalists. While Tittle said negotiations went smoothly there was another artist they were interested in but could not quite get on the same page with.
“We really wanted A$AP Ferg, he was actually my number one after the police vetting but he would not come down on his price enough,” Tittle said. “He was right on the edge of our [price range] it just wouldn’t make me go over.”
Tittle also continued the trend of featuring DJs in the lineup in order to attract the crowd that typically attends music festivals, as well as finding artists that had maintain popularity with multiple songs.
“I really tried to base it off who has the most songs that are popular, I know that was a big concern for people with D.R.A.M.,” Tittle said. “So I tried to pick people that either weren’t always featuring in songs or had a lot of songs that people would know.”
Attendance has been another key problem for Gullfest, and Tittle is hoping that a guest ticket program might make a big difference. She believes that allowing students to bring friends from outside of SU could mean the difference between selling out.
Despite those beliefs, the idea has been stalled by the university without any decision made just days from ticket sales opening.
“I think they just want me to say ‘Ok we just won’t do it’ because they’re taking so long which is annoying,” Tittle said. “I think we would sell out if people would be allowed to bring just another person.”
That decision is still being mulled by SU Student Affairs, but if approval goes through after ticket sales begin students will be able to come back and pick up a guest ticket.
Ticket sales are set to begin Friday, April 20 at $5 per ticket on the first day and $10 per ticket after Friday. As for guest tickets, Tittle said that the price for any non-student if it is approved will be $20.
The weekend of Gullfest will feature other events as well in an attempt to create more excitement from students. The festivities will kick off on May 4 with a special dinner in Commons featuring two live bands, juggler and magician.
That Saturday, May 5, will include inflatable obstacle courses and bull riding around campus.
Tittle is hoping to sell out the concert, but she at least is hoping for more than last year’s attendance. Her main goal would be to at least have 1,000 students attend. As student attendance has been a big question at SU, a lot rides on the potential of guest tickets.
By CHASE GORSKI
Featured photo: American rapper Brian Todd Collins, better known as Kid Ink, to perform at SU (KId Ink image).