Carly Rae Jepsen to headline fall WILD
Canadian pop artist Carly Rae Jepsen will headline fall WILD in Brookings Quadrangle October 5, Social Programming Board announced Wednesday.
In line with recent WILD lineups, Jepsen will take the stage after two opening acts. Pop artist and LGBTQIA* activist Wrabel will open the show, followed by Grammy-nominated rapper Vic Mensa.
Jepsen, best known for her 2012 hit “Call Me Maybe,” was selected from an all-female list of candidates. After selecting only one female headliner in WILD history—Icona Pop in 2014—Social Programming Board released the list in May with the expressed goal of “offering representation to the over half of the WUSTL student population who have historically been less visible on the WILD stage,” according to a post on the SPB Facebook page.
“We’re really excited that we get to represent the women on campus by having her,” WILD Director and junior Evelyn Shao said. “One out of 38 [ headliners] versus a 50 percent female campus isn’t ideal—that was the main thing we were trying to tackle with the all-female list.”
SPB President and senior Dina Guilak attributes Jepsen’s booking to a recent budget increase granted by Student Union.
“We wouldn’t have been able to do it without the budget increase that Student Union granted us,” Guilak said. “That was a big help because female artists tend to be more expensive than male artists.”
Guilak believes Jepsen is a good choice for headliner because she is a talented and recognizable entertainer.
“First of all, the key to a good WILD headliner is songs that everybody knows, and Carly Rae Jepsen has so many of those,” Guilak said. “It’s just really fun and energetic and exciting, which I think is key for hyping up the crowd and putting on a good show.”
According to Shao, Jepsen’s openers were chosen to represent more genres and voices on the WILD stage.
“Vic Mensa is hip-hop; so, obviously that caters to a different group of listeners, and I think they’ll really appreciate having that difference from Carly Rae Jepsen,” Shao said. “It’s all about trying to appeal to as many people as possible and represent the different interests and tastes of the student population.”
Student reactions to the artist announcement have been largely positive. Junior Chris Colon appreciates the range of artists represented in this semester’s lineup.
“I think this WILD will have a different vibe than in past semesters, and I’m excited for that. I appreciate the variety of artists SPB has brought because they represent a larger amount of students’ interests,” Colon said.
Junior Sabrina Nguyen is looking forward to opener Vic Mensa and also believes that Jepsen’s experience on the stage will translate to a quality performance.
“I’m excited to see Vic Mensa–I’ve been a fan for a while,” Nguyen said. “[Jepsen] has experience headlining at Outside Lands at the Bay Area. I’m assuming she’ll be pretty good; so, I’m excited.”
Guilak sees all three performers as invested and capable live performers.
“All three of them, in their different ways, put their heart and soul into all of their music, and you can really see that in their recorded songs, in their live performances and in the way they interact with the crowd,” Guilak said.
This article was updated after its original publication to include student reactions to SPB’s announcement.