A week after the headliner for Spring Jam was announced, many students are asking: “Who’s that?”
The University of Minnesota is bringing in six performers for the April 25-27 festival at a cost of $64,500 — on par with the last two years.
Some University students said they were disappointed by this year’s performers, which include country singer Greg Bates, rapper Theophilus London and headliner Mat Kearney.
Although marketing sophomore Paige Horwood said she likes Kearney’s music, she said she doesn’t think he should be the headliner.
“Overall, the student population is really disappointed,” Horwood said.
Sophomore Haley Lim said she and her friends were surprised when they learned Kearney was the headliner.
“Everyone was very shocked and a little confused, like, ‘Who picked it?’” Lim said.
Many students complained on Minnesota Student Association President Taylor Williams’ Facebook page after the lineup was announced, he said.
“I think students are asking for a big name performer,” Williams said.
While the events are free, some students said they should be able to select who plays because they pay for it through student services fees.
About $116,000 in student fees paid for last year’s Spring Jam events — costing each student about $3.
Gloria James, a biology freshman, said she was upset when she learned she was paying for the performers.
“This is something I’m paying for, and I don’t know who they are,” James said. “It’s frustrating.”
The Spring Jam Committee, which includes four student coordinators, chooses artists based on research and performers’ availability and pricing, last year’s student coordinator told the Minnesota Daily in a previous article. At homecoming and Spring Jam concerts, volunteers survey students about which artists they’d like to see next on campus.
This year’s committee was not available for comment.
Williams said students should play a bigger role in deciding which artists to bring to campus.
“If there’s a way they could take students’ suggestions or open it up, that’s always positive,” he said.
But some students said they’ll go to Spring Jam even if the performers aren’t their first choice.
“It’s more about the atmosphere rather than the single performer,” said Alex DeRosa, sports management senior.
Ryan Natusch, also a sports management senior, agreed.
“It doesn’t matter who the artists are,” he said. “It’s going to be a good time.”