The wait is over and Lil Dicky was announced as the 2016 Fall Concert and Red Sea Madness performer.
As stated by GQ magazine, who interviewed Lil Dicky last September, Lil Dicky “markets himself as a sort of everyday man … who raps about being white, getting too high and the insecurities of meeting a new girl’s ex-boyfriend.” His most recent hit “$ave Dat Money” peaked at No. 71 on Billboard’s Hot 100 Hits and the video has gone viral with more than 55 million views. This past summer, he was announced to be a part of the 2016 XXL Freshman Class, a highly regarded hip hop magazine. Now, before he embarks on his tour, he will be making a stop at Fairfield.
For the first time, Fairfield University Student Association will be combining its fall concert event with Red Sea Madness, an event sponsored by Fairfield Athletics and Stags in the Stands.
“Red Sea Madness is a long standing tradition at Fairfield U, just like the FUSA Fall Concert,” said FUSA’s Director of Marketing and Public Relations, Nina Poosikian ‘17. “Many other universities tie together their basketball opening ceremony with a concert and people love it, so we thought we’d give it a try at Fairfield.”
However, some students believe that the change is an attempt from the University to combat drinking before the Fall Concert.
“I think combining the events is going to be hard because it is going to deter a lot of the upperclassmen from attending both,” said Ben Bayers ‘17. “I think that it’s a good effort to stop students from drinking and doing drugs before the concert, which I’m sure is part of the deal, because it is enough time before the concert that kids won’t be getting transported.”
However, FUSA denied the speculation.
Poosikian said that “the attendance at concerts is usually a little higher than Red Sea Madness, so having them at the same time boosts the attendance for both. This was the main goal behind combining the two. It had nothing to do with alcohol.”
Traditionally, Red Sea Madness was a pep rally for the Fairfield’s men’s and women’s basketball teams, filled with events like half court contests, raffles and free giveaways. Incorporating these same ideas, Lil Dicky will be performing following the Red Sea Madness event in hopes of boosting attendance.
“I probably wouldn’t have gone to Red Sea Madness if it wasn’t a concert,” said Lauren Lovarco ‘19.
According to FUSA President Zoë Ferranti ‘17, Lil Dicky, who is a graduate from the University of Richmond, was picked as the performer through a lengthy selection process. The concert selection process began sometime in early June after FUSA sent out a survey.
“By a landslide, the genre of ‘rap’ was chosen as a crowd favorite, ranking in at a top choice for both our ‘first’ and ‘second’ choice categories, alongside genres such as pop, country, and EDM,” said Ferranti.
Many students were pleased with the fact that rap was the winning genre out of all of the diverse options.
“I think Lil Dicky is a great option. I think that it has been hard the last few years with funding and all that to get good acts to come through here … Lil Dicky in his prime and he’s going at it and I think that at least two-thirds of students were really excited that he was coming to Fairfield,” said Bayers.
Once the genre was voted on and decided, FUSA began the process of booking the artist.
“We reached out and requested dates of availability and artist prices to see what would best fit and work with our plan to link it on the same day as our Red Sea Madness and our budget,” said Ferranti.
Over the summer, FUSA weighed many options for a possible artist before settling upon Lil Dicky.
“The other options were featured in the concert survey sent out over the summer; Sammy Adams, A$AP Ferg, Waka Flocka Flame, Timeflies, Anderson Paak, Kehlani, Jidenna, Hoodie Allen [and] Natalie la Rose,” said FUSA’s Director of Programming Molly Strang ‘18.
She continued by adding that Lil Dicky proved to be best fit because he could accommodate Fairfield in his touring schedule.
Not only did FUSA have to find someone who was available based on touring schedules, they had to find someone that fit in their budget and would be approved by the school.
According to Strang, the budget for this specific school-wide event was $39,000, due to the popular demand and availability of the artist.
Getting the artist approved by the University seemed to be no obstacle for FUSA, according to Poosikian.
“The school was very open to the idea. They acknowledged that he is a very popular artist right now and think it will be a great night for the students,” she said.
FUSA anticipates that the event will be successful.
“The addition of Red Sea Madness with the event should draw a large crowd and create a great school spirit atmosphere,” said Strang. “This is an amazing co-sponsorship with the University that we hope to make a new tradition at Fairfield,” said Strang.
Tickets are now available for the event being held on Oct. 14 at 8 p.m. in Alumni Hall. Student tickets are $25 and $40 for outside guests. Doors open at 7 p.m. and close at 8 p.m.