The Student News Site of Grand Valley State University

Grand Valley Lanthorn

The Student News Site of Grand Valley State University

Grand Valley Lanthorn

The Student News Site of Grand Valley State University

Grand Valley Lanthorn

Out of touch and out of our pockets: CAB’s spring concert disappointment

Editorial Revision 3/27- The original editorial wrongly stated that Michigan State University’s spring concert this would feature Hippo Campus and Detroit native Danny Brown who were MSU’s spring concert in 2023. This year’s concert features Waka Flocka Flame and Between Friends. 

With the upcoming Grand Valley State University Spring Concert on April 6, we are underwhelmed by the lineup of artists set to perform. Given previous concerts featured relevant and big-name artists like T-Pain, Yung Gravy, All-Time Low and Bo Burnham, this year’s lineup feels like a substantial step down in terms of quality and anticipation.

Headlined by former American Idol runner-up Lauren Alaina, GVSU’s Campus Activities Board (CAB) is taking a decidedly pop-country approach to this year’s concert. Joined by Julia Cole and the already famous yodeling Walmart kid, Mason Ramsey, Alaina will have big shoes to fill following last spring’s concert.

We don’t deny that Ramsey is talented, but his appearance as an opener seems more like a gimmick due to his past as a meme, rather than a thought-out choice on CAB’s part. At the same time, Alaina is arguably a less interesting choice. None of us on the Lanthorn Editorial Board actually knew of her prior to the spring concert announcement, and many other students vocalized their disappointment on CAB’s initial Instagram post.

According to CAB’s website, the concert is “geared towards a college-aged audience,” but it seems like CAB really missed the mark on picking an artist who adequately represents the student body’s interest. Maybe we would be more interested if GVSU was located in Georgia or Tennessee.

We don’t deny that there are many college students that are fans of country music, especially in a smaller rural town like Allendale, Michigan. But at the same time, if CAB picked someone who was at least more popular in country music, or a less polarizing genre, then there may be a lot more interest.

Compared to this year’s spring concert at Michigan State University, GVSU’s is noticeably less exciting. MSU’s concert will feature Hippo Campus and Detroit native Danny Brown, which we feel are much better options. While GVSU is considerably smaller than MSU in terms of student population, we still represent the fourth-largest student body in the state.

Having not only a mostly unknown headliner with two openers seems like a waste of money and time for students normally excited about the event. We would like to see artists like the Wallows or Djo because they fit the culture and identity of a college campus more than the current performers.

We would have preferred that CAB sought out students’ opinions on artists they would like to see. That way, they could have had a better understanding of artists students would be interested in paying to see on campus. 

The GVSU Board of Trustees allocated $200,000 through the Student Life Fund and the school’s Reserve Account to CAB’s overall budget. The likelihood that it comes at least in part from tuition dollars, and out of our pockets, makes the spring concert lineup that much more frustrating.

Surely the concert is taking a big bite out of that funding, and it feels like a bit of a waste.

Instead of paying for three artists to come to campus, we wonder why CAB didn’t use the money they spent on Alaina, Julia and Mason, and put it towards a more well-known artist that people are actually excited about. Michigan artists like Mike Posner, Big Sean and Greta Van Fleet may be a little pricey to draw, but would be well worth the price. 

Tickets for the concert are already on sale, but nobody on the Lanthorn Editorial Board plans on spending their hard-earned cash for a likely disappointing set. With rising tuition, GVSU and CAB should be putting on a show that a majority of the student body is interested in. 

We are anxiously awaiting the concert. It will be interesting to see if the student body really does show up for Lauren Alaina, or if CAB wasted their money and our time.

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