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With Seven Days Until Yardfest, Headliner Still Unknown

Steve Aoki performs at last year's Yardfest.
Steve Aoki performs at last year's Yardfest. By Ryosuke Takashima
By Junina Furigay and Kenton K. Shimozaki, Crimson Staff Writers

The inflatable obstacle course has been reserved, food for the block parties has been ordered, and student opening acts are rehearsing. But with seven days until Yardfest—the College’s annual outdoor concert—the College Events Board is still silent on the artist headlining the event.

Although the final date has been set since early March, contract negotiations have delayed the announcement of the artist headlining the concert, according to CEB co-chair Caleb Spiegel Ostrom ’18.

“We look forward to announcing the artist very soon. Unfortunately, our contract negotiations have prevented us from announcing the name earlier,” Spiegel Ostrom wrote in an emailed statement.

It is unclear whether the CEB has finalized contract negotiations, and members of the Board declined to comment on the status of the artist selection.

Yardfest is hosted by the CEB, a student-led programming board sponsored by the Office of Student Life. Alexander R. Miller, assistant dean of student life, confirmed that the free concert is still scheduled for April 21.

“The Office of Student Life and the College Events Board are excited for Yardfest next Friday,” Miller wrote in an emailed statement on Thursday.

The conspicuous absence of the main event at the annual spring concert has started to worry some students.

Matthew H. Fraschilla ’17 said that he noticed last year’s artist was announced late, too, and he thinks people are starting to become concerned.

“People are wondering if something happened to the original artist. Were we never able to find someone big, and they’re trying to work on it?” Fraschilla said. “A lot of people expect the worst when you don’t give information like that.”

In addition to the afternoon performances in Tercentenary Theatre, Yardfest is popular with students for the parties hosted before the event even starts. For the first time last year, the College sponsored pre-Yardfest neighborhood block parties in collaboration with the OSL and each of the House Committees.

Planning for this year’s neighborhood socials is well underway despite the lack of an artist announcement.

Gemma Collins ’18, co-chair of Eliot House’s Committee, said they are busy preparing the “River West Fest” with the Kirkland and Winthrop House Committees.

“We have already ordered the food and supplies for the event and ordered an inflatable obstacle course,” Collins said. “Regardless of who the Yardfest artist is, River West Fest is sure to be a blast.”

This year, student band Hello Cleveland will open Yardfest with Kyle Ray. With or without a publicly announced headliner, the group is excited to perform.

“The main act isn't that important to us in terms of preparation,” said W. Gant Player ’19, a member of Hello Cleveland. “We're more bummed as students that we don't know who is playing yet and after our set I think all of us plan on going out in the crowd and having fun.”

This is the second year that the Yardfest artist will be announced close to the event. In 2016, CEB was “still in the phase of contract negotiations” less than three weeks before the event was scheduled. Electronic dance artist Steve Aoki was eventually announced 11 days before the concert.

—Staff writer Junina Furigay can be reached at Follow her on Twitter @junina_furigay.

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