RYAN MORGAN — Managing Editor
Over 2,000 people attended the second ever outdoor concert at Southern last Saturday night, as the academic quad transformed into a concert venue. Fabolous set multiple records at the university, setting the bar high for future acts.
“Working with Fabolous couldn’t have been any easier. He was really only here for a few hours because he had a show before us and after us,” said Brittany Magruder, senior programmer for Program’s Council. “He literally went on stage, ate and left. And his people were really nice.”
Magruder said contracting an artist like Fabolous to come to Southern can be difficult, explaining the process. Representatives from Programs Council, the Residence Hall Association, and Student Government jumped through many hoops in an effort to make this the best concert the school has seen in a while. After making a list of all the possible artists, Magruder explained it then comes down to the logistics: who can be brought in at a low cost for both students and the university and is still worth bringing.
“We normally don’t get our first choice or our last choice; we get somebody in the middle. This year couldn’t have worked out better,” said Magruder.
Eric LaCharity, the assistant director of the office of student life, director of the office of campus recreation and the spring week committee’s faculty advisor, said this year’s concert really worked out.
“Last year we tried the outdoor venue for the first time [in a while] and picked acts not very well known. The names were not big enough to draw a crowd. This year, tickets went on sale and we sold the 1500 it would take to fill Lyman [Southern’s indoor concert venute] in under two weeks. Once we figured out we could go outside, we sold more tickets fast,” said LaCharity. “The price was affordable for students and the timing was good for him [Fabolous]. He may not have studio albums out right now, but he is on a lot of mix tapes and on tracks with other artists. He is very relevant.”
85 percent of the 2,100 guests in attendance were Southern students–a new record, according to Magruder. Last fall’s We The Kings concert held the previous record with just over 1,300 people in attendance at Lyman. Only 65 percent of concert goers were Southern students though. Magruder said she is happy to see the increase.
LaCharity said he has seen nothing but positive reviews on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook about Fabolous’ performance.
Additionally, the opening act XV was a hit with social media users in the crowd.
“While not everyone knew the opener, students really liked him and were excited about his performance. I think they were happy to help put him on the map. People are talking about him,” said LaCharity.
Andrell Hoyte, graduating senior and member of the Spring Week committee, got more than he bargained for when he signed up to pick Fabolous up at the airport. Hoyte said he wasn’t star struck because he was too busy being nervous driving so many important people in a university van. After Fabolous asked Hoyte a few questions about how he thought the show would go, Hoyt’s nerves went down.
Later on, Hoyte was surprisedwhen he was pulled on stage.
“One second I was standing in front, then I was on stage with Fabolous. He told me he appreciated me picking him up and told me to stand right here [on stage]. It was crazy. The crowd was so jam packed with so much energy and adrenaline. It was definitely a good experience,” said Hoyte.
Overall, this year’s concert brought in the biggest crowd Southern has seen in a long time. LaCharity and Magruder both said this year could not have gone better. With Magruder graduating, Programs Council is looking for someone to fill her position next year as a senior programmer.