Penn's Social Planning and Events Committee (SPEC) announced Friday night that the 2018 Spring Fling Concert will feature four artists: CupcakKe, Sage the Gemini, JoJo, and The All–American Rejects.
CupcakKe, born Elizabeth Harris, is a rapper known for songs like “Deepthroat” and “LGBT.” She got her start posting self–produced videos on YouTube and made Rolling Stone’s 25 Under 25 in 2017.
Sage the Gemini, or Dominic Wynn Woods, is a rapper best known for the song “Gas Pedal,” which debuted in 2008. Since then, he has released two studio albums, “Remember Me” in 2014 and "Morse Code" in 2017.
The third artist is JoJo, a pop and R&B musician who came onto the scene in 1998. Her hits include “Too Little, Too Late” and “Baby It’s You.” She also has pursued acting, starring in the 2006 film Aquamarine.
The All–American Rejects will be the headliner. The alt–rock band, formed in 1999, is best known for the songs “Gives You Hell” and “Dirty Little Secret.” Their song “Move Along” peaked at #6 on the Billboard 200 in 2005.
The main concert will take place in Penn Park at 3000 Walnut Street on Saturday, April 14th from 7:30 p.m. to 11 p.m. The day of the concert will also be filled with performances from student groups. Rather than in previous years, when one headliner has been the central element of the concert, the 2018 show will be in the style of Brown University's Spring Weekend, which features four artists.
Elizabeth Goran (W’19), a co–chair of SPEC’s concerts committee, spearheaded an effort to restructure the release. Instead of releasing the headliner online as in previous years, SPEC concerts organized a scavenger hunt. Clues in the form of couplets were posted on the Facebook event; these clues led to locations on campus that housed cards with each artist’s name. Students first in line to each location received a free ticket.
"I’ve heard a lot of asks for throwbacks, so we thought throwing them in there along with some up–and–comers and people like JoJo who are still making really cool music would be something fresh and new," Elizabeth explained.
SPEC made a major change to the event's structure this year in moving all shows of the concert series to Penn Park. For the first time in its 45–year history, Spring Fling will not take place in the Quad. Other changes included shortening the festival to one day instead of two. SPEC Concerts told Street earlier this year that these changes aim to increase attendance for Spring Fling, which has declined in recent years.
“We decided that in line with Fling moving to Penn Park, we wanted to make it have more of a festival feel," Elizabeth continued. "We wanted to have four acts and a lot of variety so everyone feels like they can see somebody they like."
Penn alumni quoted in Street earlier this year responded to the changes with mixed emotions, with some focusing on tradition and others on the social aspects of the concert.
Street announced last year that the 2017 Spring Fling headliners would be EDM artist Zedd and pop/R&B singer Tinashé—check out the DP's photo gallery here. In past years Fling has brought Chance the Rapper, pop artist Kesha, DJ David Guetta, and currently incarcerated rapper Meek Mill to campus.
Tickets will go on sale Monday, April 2nd, at 10 a.m., both on Locust Walk and online.
Street will update this article as we obtain more information.