The first week of the spring semester ended with the announcement of Fetty Wap as the 2016 Lavernapalooza headliner.
The Associated Students of La Verne made the announcement in conjunction with campus radio station LeoFM immediately following the club fair, Feb. 5, in Sneaky Park.
“We just figured it would be the perfect time to do it,” said sophomore business administration major Jessica Faber, ASULV vice president of communications.
This year’s Lavernapalooza announcement was made early in the semester compared to previous years.
“A few years we’ve tried to work with artists and the contracts fall through, or they’re a little pushy and they hold on and hold on and drop us at the last minute,” Director of Student Life Barbara Mulligan said.
Many students said they feel Fetty Wap and his brand of hip-hop are indicative of what Lavernapalooza is supposed to be: high-energy and exciting.
“His songs are mainly for having fun and dancing and just forgetting about your problems,” sophomore kinesiology major Thomas Huynh said.
But the announcement has discouraged others, with some students critical of the headliner.
“It’s not just Fetty Wap, it’s the fact that it’s been a similar genre of music – only hip hop and rap – for the last couple of times, and no rock, punk, or alternative,” senior theater major Stefan Celeketic said. “At least in my friend group, that has been the biggest complaint.”
ASULV’s survey showed a wide variety of people were pulling for Fetty Wap.
“I know we’re not going to please everybody but the statistics show an overwhelming number of students wanting hip hop,” Mulligan said.
This year’s survey results had 51.8 percent of students surveyed pulling for a hip hop artist, with alternative following at 19.2 percent, pop at 12.2 percent, country at 9.6 percent and rock at 7.2 percent.
Festivals like Stagecoach and Coachella can also be hurdles in getting alternative, rock and country artists to perform at Lavernapalooza, Mulligan said.
“We have reached out to some alternative artists,” Mulligan said. “A lot of them that are very well-known play Coachella, and there’s a radius clause in that. So we run up against problems there.”
Other artists who were up for headliner consideration included up-and-coming trap-soul sensation Bryson Tiller as well as alt-rock stalwarts All Time Low and blink-182.
ASULV is still working on securing an opener for the end-of-the-year bash.
Past opening artists include Kendrick Lamar, Mike Posner and 3OH!3.
“It’s going to be a rager and everyone’s going to go crazy,” sophomore kinesiology major Harvard Kang said. “This show’s going to be lit.”
Lavernapalooza takes place May 5 at the Fox Theater in Pomona, with ASULV planning to distribute free tickets to ULV students in mid-April.
Des Delgadillo can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.