Third Eye Blind to play at Spring Fling

On April 20, the College and All Campus Entertainment (ACE) will officially welcome Third Eye Blind to Spring Fling 2008 in Towne Field House. Following the results of a vote put to the student body, ACE selected Third Eye Blind over second choice Ben Folds. Tickets, to go on sale in the next month, will cost $15 for students and $25 for non-students.

ACE changed the process of selecting a Spring Fling performer to involve more students by conducting a vote via e-mail. Students elected Third Eye Blind with a three-to-one margin over Ben Folds out of a group of artists that also included Cake, Wilco, Blues Traveler, Kings of Leon, Marc Broussard, Lifehouse, My Morning Jacket, Ray Lamontagne, Spin Doctors, State Radio, Scissor Sisters and One Republic. ACE president Ali Barrett ’09 indicated this as reflecting the organization’s wish to more closely involve all students in the selection.

“We want the process to be more democratic,” Barrett said. “We’ve been in a rush in past years to get a great band, and we haven’t been able to do this as effectively as before.”

The performance will take place on a Sunday rather than the customary Thursday due to Third Eye Blind’s scheduling needs. The band was unavailable on Thursday, Friday or Saturday of that week, and Ben Folds proved entirely unavailable on any of those days.

“Rather than having a fourth or fifth choice come on Thursday,” Barrett said, “we booked Third Eye Blind for Sunday and moved the day.”

In comparison with the $50,000 budget Spring Fling 2007 showcasing Guster and The Format, ACE was able to spend a little more on Third Eye Blind due to a larger concert budget. A new initiative called Paresky Programming has opened up extra funds for events in Paresky – including the recent SuperBowl party – that would previously have been funded by ACE. Due to these resources, ACE has been able to host more concerts than in previous years. The five dollar increase in ticket prices also helps maintain this budget.

Third Eye Blind is expected to sell out Towne Field House, the space with the largest capacity on campus. Jessica Gulley, assistant director of student activities for Campus Life, pointed to Towne Field House as the most feasible location for such a large-scale concert with regard to the expected crowd and the power needs of the band.

“Every Spring Fling brings a new level of excitement,” Gulley said. “Towne Field House is a blank palette. We can build the stage, we can create the lighting, and it has great accessibility.”

In organizing the first list of artist candidates, ACE consulted Concert Ideas – an agency which mediates the partnering of colleges with concert artists – for possible options both within the budget range and likely to be available during the week of Spring Fling. ACE considers mainly alternative artists for Spring Fling in order to provide a concert experience distinct from that of Homecoming, which generally features a hip-hop artist such as 2007’s Little Brother. Alternative artists also play for one to two hours longer than hip-hop performers on average, increasing the asking price for tickets to Spring Fling.

San Francisco alternative rock band Third Eye Blind has most recently produced the album “Out of the Vein” in 2003, but has been recording since 1993. The band boasts two other albums, “Blue” (1999) and “Third Eye Blind” (1997), and their hit singles include “Never Let You Go” and “Jumper.” The band is currently working on an album tentatively entitled “The Hideous Strength.”

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