This editorial has been updated to more accurately reflect the Slope Day Programming Board’s expenses.
Kanye West. Kendrick Lamar. Drake. Chance the Rapper. Duke Ellington.
The announcement of Galantis, a Swedish EDM duo, as the next headliner for Cornell’s annual Slope Day concert was met across campus with disappointment and, at best, ambivalence.
Responses on Twitter ranged from “what is a galantis” (@bernardbmensah) to “smh ya doing bad” (@thatkidzaiah) to “Suddenly, I’m not sad about missing slope day” (@zachsilver, Sun Sports Editor Zach Silver, currently in Barcelona). Another Sun editor remarked that Galantis had once been nominated for “Best Swedish EDM Artist” and lost. (We checked — in 2017 the group was nominated for “Best Swedish Act” at the MTV Europe Music Awards and lost to fellow EDMers Axwell Λ Ingrosso.)
Smh ya doing bad
— Xay (@thatkidzaiah) February 15, 2018
Suddenly, I'm not sad about missing slope day https://t.co/8cGhT7w6Ql
— Zachary Silver (@zachsilver) February 15, 2018
Can a youth please explain who this is, please. https://t.co/4JSgzKNIsO
— Jamie Swinnerton (@Swij2) February 15, 2018
Even the students who organized the concert seem unhappy with the decision. Members of the Slope Day Programming Board repeatedly stressed that the selection process suffered from budgetary constraints (SDPB receives $18 per student from the student activities fee, an allotment of around $250,000, and can also spend revenue from the previous year’s event, which in recent years has topped $100,000), and admitted that while Galantis “might not have been a consideration to begin with,” their conformity to a University risk assessment made them attractive. Similarly, it seems opening artist Young Bombs was chosen less for their music and more because they came “from the [same] agency” and were in the limited price range.
We are not suggesting that SDPB spend ungodly sums of money to bring Beyonce to Cornell (Fisk Johnson, if you’re reading this, maybe tack on a few extra million to your next gift and make it happen), but rather that they spend what they have more effectively and plan an event that more Cornellians can be happy about.
As we continue to pay massive sums of cash to groups like Cash Cash, Big Gigantic and now Galantis and Young Bombs, who primarily remix the music of others and do not often perform any live music, perhaps we should consider returning to artists more suitable for open-air, midday concerts. Slope Day should be more than just a glorified Spotify playlist and a fancy light show — especially for $250,000.