At midnight on Saturday, All Campus Entertainment (ACE) announced over Twitter and at its #60Days party that Chance the Rapper will headline the Spring Fling concert. Every year, ACE hosts a weekend-long event in the spring with concerts and parties. Last year, Macklemore and Ryan Lewis headlined the Spring Fling concert. This year, Chance the Rapper will perform on Thursday, April 24 in Lasell Gymnasium, and the concert will be free to all College students.
“This was a new way to announce the concert, and we think it went really well, with a good student reaction,” ACE Concert Co-Chair and Gabe Stephens ’15 said. “We’ll continue to roll out more details, but we’re all very satisfied with the initial announcement. The weekend may contain more surprises as well, details forthcoming.”
Chance the Rapper, a 20-year-old artist from Chicago, began his career with the release of his free mixtape, 10 Day, in spring 2011. The release of 10 Day followed a 10-day suspension during his senior year of high school. The mixtape accrued 100,000 downloads and was featured in Forbes magazine. Chance released another free mixtape, Acid Rap, in April 2013, which was certified platinum and nominated for “Best Mixtape” at the 2-13 BET Hip Hop Awards.
Chance has collaborated with artists such as Childish Gambino, Justin Bieber and Lil Wayne. Chance was recently highlighted in Complex magazine’s article “10 New Chicago Rappers to Watch Out For.” The strength of his mixtape Acid Rap “could be found on nearly every year-end Best-of list you can think of,” Stephens said. “His career is still really young, but Chance is an artist
who is going to be making waves for years to come … Chance is a rising star with a lot of buzz surrounding him, which makes him a perfect candidate for Spring Fling. He is someone who we believe that the campus can get really excited for, and we’re incredibly lucky to have him.”
In an ACE Concerts survey, more students wrote in Chance’s name than any other performing artist. The survey also indicated his genre of music – hip-hop – was in high demand. After identifying Chance as their first choice, the members of ACE sent a bid to Chance’s management agent and then negotiated a contract. ACE will spend $30,000 on Chance and his concert at Williams.
Last year, when Chance performed at Middlebury’s spring concert, there was concern regarding perceived misogyny and homophobia in this lyrics. ACE was recently alerted of this concern at Middlebury last year and is currently engaging in discussions with CC, MinCo, QSU and other relevant organizations on how to best handle the concert. “It should go without saying that none of us condone homophobia and that we need to get as many ideas from the campus as possible before acting in any way,” Stephens said. “We are now aware of this situation and are taking broad steps to make a decision that best represents the interests of the campus.”
“We, of course, don’t think that the budget we were given hindered our ability to get a fantastic performer, but the issue of money and budgetary flexibility is always something we consider with College Council (CC). As our budget comes from the Student Activities Tax, we have to balance the need for money to bring the best performer available with the fact that every extra dollar we take is another dollar that can’t be used for other student organizations,” Stephens said, “This year, the concert is free. This was a conscious decision made by ACE in conjunction with CC, deciding that we should do our best to make sure that there are no financial barriers to a willing student who wants to attend the show.”
“The concert will be free to Williams students only, with ID,” Stephens said. “Due to projected demand versus capacity, we do not expect entry to be made available to anyone but Williams students.”
Spring Fling will be a weekend long event from April 24 to 27 including a variety of performances and events organized by ACE. By the end of spring break, ACE will announce the opening act for Chance’s concert.