A brief history of W.I.L.D.

| Kimberly Henrickson | Contributing Writer

Walk In Lay Down, or W.I.L.D., has been held biannually at Washington University since 1973. The event has been selected as one of the “15 Insane College Parties That Will Make You Want To Transfer” by Buzzfeed and even has its own Wikipedia page. Throughout the years, W.I.L.D. has seen many up-and-coming artists that went on to become huge names. Here’s a brief look back.

The Grateful Dead—1969

Before W.I.L.D. was even an official event, Deadheads flocked to Brookings Quadrangle in order to watch the eclectic and improvisational folk-rock group perform. The band, which at the time included most original members including Bob Weir, Phil Lesh and Ron McKernan, played pieces such as “Dark Star” and “The Eleven” as well as many covers like “Good Morning Little Schoolgirl” by “Sonny Boy” Williamson.


Years before lead singer Bono became an icon for peace and humanitarianism, the Irish rock band took a trip across the pond in order to perform at the spring show. Possibly the most famous people to ever use the sound system in Graham Chapel, the group was reportedly paid only $750 for a 16-song set, which included the group’s earlier hits such as “I Will Follow,” “A Day Without Me” and “The Ocean.” Contrast that to this year’s costs: it’s estimated that Karmin and Chance the Rapper will be compensated around $75,000 for their performances.

The Black Keys—2009

At a concert that this year’s seniors missed by only a year, the “Brothers” artists performed in a lineup with B.o.B. and the Cool Kids in a festival-style atmosphere designed to fit many diverse musical interests. The group, like many others in W.I.L.D.’s history, was on the verge of fame and at that point had only a concentrated group of hard-core fans.

Will this year’s W.I.L.D. meet or miss expectations? Will it fall into the ranks of the greatest W.I.L.Ds in Wash. U.’s history? Will Karmin and Chance the Rapper go on to join the ranks of other artists who have skyrocketed to fame after W.I.L.D? In order to find out, make sure not to miss W.I.L.D, this Friday night in Brookings Quad.

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