Icona Pop to Headline Spring Concert
Issue   |   Sat, 04/12/2014 - 08:20
Photography Editor Olivia Tarantino '15
Students pick up tickets for this year's Spring Concert, which will feature the Swedish DJ duo Icona Pop.

Icona Pop will headline this year’s Spring Concert, the Spring Concert committee announced Friday night. The Swedish DJ duo will play at LeFrak Gymnasium on April 26 with British DJ Star Slinger as their opening act.

Icona Pop is an electro-pop group made up of Stockholm natives Caroline Hjelt and Aino Jawo. The group formed in 2009 and rose to prominence after the release of their single “Manners.” They are most famous for their 2012 hit “I Love It,” which reached number seven on the Billboard Hot 100. Their latest album is the 2013 release “This Is … Icona Pop.”

Star Slinger, whose real name is Darren Williams, hails from Manchester, UK. His work is influenced by dance, hip-hop and electronic music, and his most popular albums and EPs include “Ladies in the Back” and “Volume 1.”

The process of selecting a spring concert artist started at the beginning of the academic year, when the Spring Concert committee asked students for input.

“We released a survey in the fall, and a lot of people said they didn’t want rap again,” said Peter Crane ’15, the Association of Amherst Students senator who chairs the Spring Concert committee.

Hip-hop artists Macklemore & Ryan Lewis headlined last year, and in 2012 the rapper Ludacris performed.

“We thought they were a really good match for the school,” Crane said of Icona Pop. “We haven’t had female performers in a long time.”

Securing the Spring Concert artist is a two-part process. First, the artist must agree with the College on an artist fee, which for Icona Pop was $50,000. Second, the artist negotiates with the College to finalize details of the contract.

Originally, Icona Pop did not fall within the College’s price range of $45,000. However, the Campus Activities Board eventually found $5,000 more in its budget so that the College could offer a more competitive bid. Additionally, the Spring Concert committee was able to save money because Icona Pop had already planned to be in the New England area, so they will driving to Amherst rather than flying.

“When we first asked about them in the fall, they were too expensive, but then with this new routing situation, they fell within our range,” Crane said.

Once Icona Pop accepted the bid, contract negotiations began. The Spring Concert announcement came especially late this year because these negotiations took longer than expected.

“They confirmed the bid in December during finals week, but the contract wasn’t signed until two weeks after spring break,” Crane said.

Crane said that Icona Pop’s agency spent several months negotiating with the Dean of Student Activities Office on a long list of items in the contract. For example, the College had originally been pushing for a 60-day no cancellation policy, but was eventually forced to change this to 30 days. The cumulative effect of all the changes was that the announcement came later than anticipated.

Despite the late announcement, students began speculating that Icona Pop would be the Spring Concert artist in the days following spring break.

Because the announcement was originally planned for the week after spring break, the Spring Concert committee decided to send out a mailing that week advertising the concert. The mailing consisted of a postcard with the date “4.26.14” printed in a pixelated font. Crane explained that some people noticed that this font was the same one that Icona Pop use on their website.

“When we sent the mailing out, we meant for people to hold on to the mailing for about two days, and then we would announce it over the weekend or something,” Crane said.

However, because the announcement did not come until two weeks after the mailing, students had time to look more closely at the mailing and make the connection to the Icona Pop font.

Now that the artist has been officially announced, the Spring Concert committee will begin selling tickets. There are 1800 tickets that will be reserved for Amherst College students to pick up before Wednesday, and 400 tickets have been sent out to other members of the Five College Consortium.

Tickets are free for Amherst College students with an Amherst ID, $10 for Five College students with ID and $25 for general admission.

This weekend, tickets will be available in Valentine Dining hall from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. During the week, tickets will be sold in Keefe Campus Center from 11 to 2 and in Valentine from 5 to 7. During other weekday daytime hours, students can purchase tickets in Keefe 019.

After Wednesday, ticket sales will open up to the general public.