The Carolina Union Activities Board officially announced Sunday that rap artist Wale will be performing at the fall 2013 Homecoming Concert with Ace Hood opening.
Lauren Sacks, adviser to CUAB and assistant director of student learning, said the committee chose the performer after the most expansive student input polls it has ever completed. CUAB used Facebook, Twitter and large white boards with markers attached in the first and second floors of the Union asking students who they wanted to see for Homecoming to generate student feedback.
“It’s a tricky spot because the artists who garner the most support might be Beyonce, but Beyonce does cost half a million dollars, so we try to garner as much information from students as we can without setting unreasonable expectations,” Sacks said.
Sacks said CUAB took a tally of the votes accrued by each popular artist, and then decided if the artist would be feasible for Homecoming. She said though the performers for this and last year’s concerts were both rap or hip-hop artists, that the decision was not purposefully made by the board.
“Two things influenced the choice of the artists: One was based on student feedback — so a lot of the artists that we heard about were in the hip-hop and rap genre. Secondly, it happens that artists in that genre are within budgetary feasibility,” Sacks said.
Khalani James, special events coordinator for CUAB, agreed that student feedback was critical to planning this year’s concert. He said the board was also considering Macklemore, A$AP Rocky, Big Sean, Childish Gambino, The Lumineers and Avicii.
He said CUAB sent offers to Macklemore and Wale, but the former performer was unavailable. The other performers they were considering were either out of CUAB’s budget, or they were already booked for other events. So overall, James said he is very happy with CUAB’s choice.
“I think that the fact that he’s from a nearby area that’s prominently represented at UNC — the D.C., Maryland, Virginia area — the fact that he’s from that area and also the fact that he has an album that just released this summer help to make this an exciting homecoming,” James said.
James said because the Homecoming concert is about what pleases the UNC student population, he believes Wale is the best musician for this year’s show.
When Mathews made the announcement at FallFest Sunday night, there were only a few cheers spread throughout the crowd.
Senior Ryan Langerak, a big Wale fan, said student excitement would increase closer to the show.
“Wale is just original, he’s got great flow,” Langerak said. “He’s pretty great live too.”
Though the official contracts for Wale and Ace Hood have not yet been released to The Daily Tar Heel, CUAB President Carly Mathews said the budget for this year’s concert was about the same as last year’s. For the 2012 Homecoming Concert, the University paid J. Cole $105,000 plus hotel and local transportation expenditures.
“The budget last year was higher than in past years, but knowing how successful that concert was and knowing that students were willing to pay a little more for tickets to a good performance, we didn’t worry about the budget as much this year,” Mathews said.
Mathews and James said they feel confident that Wale and Ace Hood are accurate representations of student interests and hope the student feedback process will only get better in coming years.
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