By Michael Charboneau and Joe Vitale
Solidisco, an electronic duo from Buffalo, New York, will be performing as the DJ act during this year’s Spring Weekend, according to a post by Campus Activities Board (CAB) on social media.
CAB also revealed that The Suits, after winning the Battle of the Bands contest on Saturday, will be the opening act for the Spring Weekend Concert on Saturday, April 25.
The announcements follows the previous postings that Brandon Stanton, founder of Humans of New York, will be giving a lecture and that Jamie Lee, who stars in “Girl Code,” will be this year’s comedy act.
The headline for the concert has yet to be announced, but is expected to be made soon.
In an email, CAB Concert Committee Co-chair Alex Rainone, GSB ’16, said Solidisco will be an excellent musical act to kick off the weekend.
“This band is extremely fun and high energy,” Rainone said. “It’s definitely going to be a great show.”
The process for filling the performance slots began last June, when Rainone and fellow Concert Committee Co-chair Matthew Krause, GSB ’17, began the work of researching possible bands and artists and compiling information on them.
Rainone pointed out that the process is very labor-intensive.
“Matt and I put together ‘packets’ that include every song an artist has ever written or performed and highlight any lyrics that may be controversial to the Fordham mission,” she said. “These packets can be as small as 30 pages to as large as 220 pages.”
Krause and Rainone then passed the packets on to Shannon Driscoll, Assistant Director for Student Organizations and Planning at the Office of Student Leadership and Community Development (OSLCD), the Dean of Students, Christopher Rodgers, and the Assistant Dean of Student Leadership and Community Development, Alanna Nolan.
The three of them had to approve the packet for each band and artist before the committee could send out an offer, a process which took anywhere from 2 weeks to a month. Rainone noted that most other schools have much less restrictive requirements for approval than Fordham.
“It’s a huge disadvantage,” she said, “but Matt and I try to combat this problem by having at least 5 packets done in case an artist is booked … and we need another option.”
The committee does have some leeway in making its choice. Rainone said that the Fordham administration gives them “a lot of autonomy,” but within certain parameters: they must follow student opinions and stay away from artists “who are controversial.”
Once the packets are approved, Rainone and Krause then approached bands and artists with an offer. To do so, they worked with a company called Concert Ideas, which put them in contact with the performers when they had an offer ready. The company also offered feedback and guidance during the process. Rainone stated that Concert Ideas was “extremely helpful” with thinking of possible performers and dealing with price and timing constraints.
The committee also solicited student opinions on the Spring Weekend performers through surveys, and those responses factored heavily into the decision process. The surveys guide the committee in determining which bands and artists to contact with offers.
“The biggest influence over our options comes from the student survey results,” said Rainone. “This year, similar to past years, the most popular genre was the alternative genre.”
In making a final decision, Rainone and Krause had to weigh a number of competing interests: student opinions, the wishes of OSLCD and the Fordham administration, and of course the schedules and demands of the performers themselves. Considering that Spring Weekend is the biggest student event of the year, it’s no surprise that they felt the pressure.
“Matt and I work really hard to give Fordham a performer who would appeal to the majority of our campus,” said Rainone. “It’s definitely not an easy job.”