Grammy Award-winning hip hop artists Ludacris and Lupe Fiasco will grace the stage at this year’s Spring Concert, scheduled for Feb. 27.
After learning mid-November of R&B singer Rihanna’s decision to decline its bid, the College Union Board (CUB) was awarded $160,888 by the Student Finance Board (SFB) to bid for Ludacris, singer/songwriter Jason Mraz and, as an opener, pop/techno artist Lady Gaga.
Lupe Fiasco and rock group Jimmy Eat World were alternates.
Mraz, Lady Gaga and Jimmy Eat World all declined bids to perform.
According to CUB director Katerina Gkionis, Mraz will be touring in Europe beginning mid-February, Lady Gaga had already received a bid at another venue and Jimmy Eat World had become unavailable.
Fortunately, according to Gkionis, Ludacris and Lupe Fiasco both accepted bids.
The decision to add Lupe Fiasco to the bill was a result of the increased Student Activities Fund (SAF) and CUB’s desire to build on last year’s Third Eye Blind concert, Gkionis said.
“Since we received the increase to the (SAF) this summer, we decided that it was time to have a huge concert that would go beyond the Third Eye Blind show last year,” Gkionis said.
Gkionis said with a combined four Grammys between them and multiple “Billboard Top 100” hits, the rap/hip hop duo will set a new standard for the College’s future concerts.
“We wanted to create a festival-type show and we think that we could definitely have that with two huge names like Ludacris and Lupe Fiasco,” Gkionis said.
An opening act is still to be determined. CUB will be searching in the rock/pop genre to round out the festival-like atmosphere.
Details of the actual performance are still preliminary. According to Allie Binaco, CUB event coordinator, the opener will perform on stage for 45 minutes, followed by a 60-minute set by Lupe Fiasco and concluding with a 75-minute Ludacris performance.
The festival will be held in the Student Recreation Center. CUB will have 2,500 tickets available, the maximum capacity of the building.
When CUB was provided funding for the event, a requirement that 625 tickets must be available to non-College students was set by SFB, Binaco said. CUB will be coordinating with surrounding New Jersey colleges to sell these tickets. The remaining 1,875 tickets will be reserved for College students only.
“My own personal goal is to sell all 2,500 tickets,” Binaco said. “I know the rest of CUB is on board with that as well.”
“People are hyped about the concert,” Jessica Claar, CUB adviser, said. “We have a lot of positive feedback.”
Jordan Schoenberg, junior history major, said he is ecstatic about the concert.
“It’s one of the biggest events to hit campus in a long, long time,” he said. “No one should underestimate the wide-ranging effect this will have not only on campus life, but also on the entire state.”
Tickets will go on sale at 10 a.m. on Jan. 28 at the Box Office in the Brower Student Center. Tickets are $15 for College students and $20 for non-College students.