How Exactly Did 'Cuse Get 50 Cent and Kygo for Block Party?
It’s that time of year: The snow is finally off the ground and the birds are a-chirpin. Frat boys can no longer be found in classes and have taken up the infamous sport of daging instead. The last few weeks of warm weather all say the same thing to young Syracusians: Mayfest.
By now, everyone knows the performers for Mayfest and Block Party. But there was some pretty harsh criticism directed at University Union when the announcements first came out. It turns out, however, that UU actually has some serious research behind the performers — we spoke to cocnert director Evan Wilson to get the deets.
1. What is the process of picking an artist for Mayfest/Block Party? Does it involve nominations, voting, and so on? The process of picking an artist is fully based on the musical tastes of the student body and industry trends. The tools used to pick an artist include student-oriented focus groups, surveys, social media posts, Billboard Charts, Spotify charts, Shazam charts, etc.
2. Who is in charge of finding and suggesting artists? Everyone on the UU staff? There's a research team within the concert board that are constantly using our tools and analytics to figure out the best artists.
3. How long does the process of finding and booking talent for Mayfest/Block Party take? Is UU preparing all year for this event? The process depends on a lot of factors: artists’ availability (international or domestic based), issuing offers, executing contracts, etc. We usually start preparing for an event such as Mayfest or Block Party about four to six months before the show.
4. What obstacles are primarily in the way when booking artists? When booking artists, the primary obstacles include availability and staying within budget in order to accommodate all the musical tastes on campus.
5. How do you feel throughout the process? Do you feel like there's a lot of pressure on UU? I always feel excited because there's a lot of work that goes into planning an event such as Mayfest/Block Party. There's always pressure, but we stay focused on our main goal, which is to bring the best talent and put on a great event for the students.
6. What would be your personal dream lineup for Block Party? The Rolling Stones, Drake, and Swedish House Mafia.
7. Is it hard to keep the lineup a secret before it's announced? Do people ever beg you to give them the details? We're very serious about keeping the lineup a secret to contractual agreements. Yes — my friends ask me all the time. I just have to keep waving them off.
8. What's harder to plan and why: Juice Jam or Mayfest/Block Party? Both are great events to plan! Always an enjoyable process — I'd say that Juice Jam requires more time because it's a festival involving more artists and amenities than Block Party/Mayfest.