Photo from Undergraduate Student Government
By Hunter Frederick
*Update: On Monday, around midday, USG made a Facebook post asking for student suggestions on who should open Brookfest. They stated that suggestions would be checked against artist price and availability. At time of this update, they have over 100+ comments.
Around midday Valentine’s Day, the Undergraduate Student Government (USG) released the artist for Brookfest 2018, the university’s annual spring concert. It was revealed that this year’s artist would be 21 Savage, who’s notable hits include “Bank Account” and a feature on Post Malone’s hit song “Rockstar.”
Savage currently has released two studio albums, his debut “Issa” and a collaboration project with Metro Boomin and Offset from Migos, entitled “Without Warning.” People might also know 21 Savage from a small video clip of an interview that he did, which became sort of a meme. During the interview, done by the YouTube channel VLAD TV, the interviewer asked 21 Savage about the “cross” he has tattooed on his forehead. Savage responds with the words that would go on to inspire the title of his debut album: “Issa [it’s a] knife.”
However, the student reaction to the announcement was split. After the artist release, USG’s Facebook page and the event page for Brookfest 2018 were inundated with comments. Some students expressed disappointment in the artist choice. Some questioned the decision and a video was linked in the comments of a poor performance by 21 Savage in the past. However, some students expressed approval and tagged their friends in the post.
Shortly after, USG posted in the event page for Brookfest 2018 on Facebook. Their clarification post explained that the concert was “meant to give students a safe, convenient and affordable chance to attend a concert during the semester.” They went on to say that any money made from the concert was not kept for profit, but that it went back into clubs and programming. USG also explained what seems to be part of the process of how they choose an artist for Brookfest. According to the post, USG is “[granted] one or two dates to use the arena.” These dates are then checked against a list of artists available on that day, that are also within the budget . A comment left by USG on a separate post (made by a student) on the Brookfest 2018 event discussion said the budget for the main act was right around $100,000.
Potentially, what might have caught students off guard is the other information included in USG’s later post. The post said that artist names are sent out for a student vote “only if there are multiple options relatively close to each other in current popularity.” It was also revealed that 21 Savage was hired for a price of $117,000. This is more than some Brookfest artists of recent past, who’s booking prices were also detailed by USG (Future, $100,000; Fetty Wap, $125,000; Post Malone, $102,000; DNCE, $100,000). This caused some ire among students, who speculated that Savage was being overpaid.
While students’ social media comments might swing one way or the other, the true determinant of satisfaction will be revealed by one metric from this year’s concert: the ticket sales.