Fall WILD 2018 talent survey released; features all-female headlining artists

Emma Baker | News Editor

Washington University’s Social Programming Board released its fall WILD 2018 talent survey—featuring an all-female headlining selection—through its social media accounts Sunday.

In 37 years of WILD programming, fall 2014 headliner Icona Pop remains the only female headlining group or artist to perform. In a statement to Student Life, SPB explained that this is because female artists tend to be more expensive than male artists. When Student Union increased SPB’s talent budget, the option of bringing a female headliner to campus became possible again.

“I’m really proud of our executive board for making such a strong decision after months of thoughtful discussion and consideration of all points of view and possible outcomes,” SPB president and junior Dina Guilak wrote. “Most importantly, I believe that offering this all-female survey really speaks to SPB’s values—that our priority is our fellow students. We are programming for them, we are responding to concerns they have, and we are trying to represent our student body with the shows we produce.”

While the decision to only consider female headliners was ultimately made by SPB, junior and SU President Grace Egbo, sophomore and Speaker of the Senate Olivia Williams and Speaker of Treasury sophomore Alia Nahra were consulted.

“When Dina first asked me about what SPB was thinking of doing…I encouraged SPB to really think about all the different possibilities and determine if choosing all-female headliners was the right thing to do,” Egbo wrote in a statement to Student Life. “In the end, I wholeheartedly stand by their intentional decision because I know SPB continually desires to make WILD a great experience for all.”

In the statement SPB explained that its talent surveys are intended to provide a diverse set of artists and genres for students to select from, and that this decision marks progress for providing more inclusive options for undergraduate students.

“It’s really exciting when we as students are able to see ourselves up on stage, and it’s disappointing that that has not been happening for female students. We worked to ensure that this survey was inclusive of as many identities as possible,” SPB WILD Director and sophomore Evelyn Shao wrote. “We are hopeful that the increase in the talent budget will allow for a survey that reflects the impressive mark that females have made on the musical landscape.”

The official survey for fall WILD 2018 can be accessed via SPB’s official Facebook page and will remain active through Wednesday, May 2.