Proposed headliners for this year’s Slope Day include Halsey, Bastille, The 1975 and G-Eazy, the Slope Day Programming Board announced at its artist selections forum Thursday.
The forum, run by Selections Director Thomas Marin ’17 and the rest of the Executive Programming Board, presented attendees with 25 potential artists, organized into three categories: opening acts, co-headliners, and headliners. SDPB then opened an online poll allowing participants and viewers on Facebook Live to rank each artist.
Marin reminded voters that many factors are involved in planning Slope Day and that poll results are not necessarily indicative of the board’s artist selection.
“We are just trying to gauge interest,” Marin said. “Just because an artist clearly wins the poll doesn’t mean we can necessarily get them.”
The main criteria in attendees’ evaluations were name and song recognition, the artist’s appeal to a Cornell audience and the quality of a potential live performance. Many forum participants raised concerns about whether the proposed headlining acts would be worth their price tags, which may be upwards of $100,000.
Possible co-headliners included DNCE, Galantis, Anderson .Paak, Charlie Puth, Tove Lo and Mac Miller. Some attendees criticized DNCE for being a “one-hit wonder,” saying students are likely to leave after “Cake by the Ocean” — similar to how many people left after Walk the Moon’s performance of “Shut Up and Dance” last year. Addressing Tove Lo as a potential performer, other participants noted that acts in the past years have been predominantly male.
Proposed opening acts included Lil Dicky, Jon Bellion and Kungs. Many attendees expressed appreciation for these artists’ potential, with Marin adding that the board looks for artists on the rise, such as Kendrick Lamar, who played for 2013’s Slope Day 2013 a year before the release of To Pimp a Butterfly.
“We get artists right before they hit their stride,” Marin said. “And that’s something really great about Slope Day.”
Artists presented at the forum were selected from a Google form — sent out at the beginning of the semester to garner feedback on last year’s Slope Day and suggestions for this year — according to Marin.
“We had 7,000 responses to our survey,” he said. “From there, we narrowed it down to a list of artists that are within our budget. We have about a $300,000 budget and we delegate about half of that to artist selections.”
The board also needs to consider if the artist uses too much profane language or lyrics that may offend certain religious, racial or political groups, Marin said. He added that SDPB has vetoed many EDM acts due to their correlation with excessive drug and alcohol usage.
Other logistical factors include whether acts require large screens and elaborate lighting and an artist’s potential availability for a May performance.
SDPB also confers with other institutions to recommended artists who are respectable and easy to work out with, Marin said.
The board is unlikely to release further information for several months, as it communicates with artists’ agencies, but students can expect its choice to be announced in the early or mid spring semester, according to Marin.