W.I.L.D. artist survey gives students voice

| News Editor

Courtesy of The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas

Donald Glover performs under the stage name Childish Gambino at Boulevard Pool at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas on May 27, 2012. Glover is one of the artists Social Programming Board is proposing to bring to W.I.L.D. this spring.

After years of student complaints about lack of transparency in W.I.L.D. artist selection, Social Programming Board is using a survey to pick who will be headlining the school’s largest biannual concert.

Released Monday, the survey asks students to rank their preference between 10 different alternative rock groups and hip-hop artists and marks a significant change in the selection process.

Although the artists listed are not guaranteed to appear at spring W.I.L.D., the survey stated that students’ rankings would influence SPB’s choice of the spring W.I.L.D. artist.

“In the past, the board would vote on it, and students weren’t always happy with the decision the board made,” SPB Outreach Director and sophomore Ishi Metkar said. “With a survey, there’s a better chance that a larger group of students will be happy with it, and even if people aren’t happy, we can say that the majority of students wanted that artist.”

Metkar said that the artists and groups on the survey were chosen based on the results of SPB’s post-fall W.I.L.D. survey.

“We asked for artist suggestions, and there were a lot of repeated artists, and that’s where we got the list for the survey,” Metkar said. “We thought that would work better instead of having people randomly submit artists.”

SPB has not traditionally surveyed about who it would like to headline W.I.LD., though the Congress of the South 40 has polled students about performers for WUStock for a number of years.

The SPB survey included a picture as well as a YouTube link to the music video for one of each artist’s more popular or recognizable songs. It asked students to rank artists from 1 to 10, though students are not prevented from voting multiple times.

Eight of the ten groups or artists listed are alternative rock bands—AWOLNATION, Bastille, Capital Cities, Grouplove, Local Natives, Portugal. The Man and Young the Giant—but the list also featured two hip-hop artists: Childish Gambino and Miguel.

Sophomore Emily Orr said the survey should improve students’ responses to the ultimate headliner, particularly given that a number of artist options are recognizable names.

“I think it takes some of the pressure off Social Programming Board because they’re going to get students’ opinions first,” Orr said.

Orr said she particularly likes Childish Gambino and Grouplove, and other students agreed they were pleasantly surprised to see bands that they recognized on the survey.

“I usually don’t know the artist they’re bringing, but I’ve heard of most of the ones on the list,” senior Victor Varon said.

Other students, although happy to have the opportunity to vote, expressed concern that SPB would be able to get the artists or groups on the survey.

Metkar said that while the students in charge of W.IL.D. reached out to each of the artists’ managers and confirmed availability and pricing, both factors are subject to change.

“I’m glad they’re doing a survey, but I’m afraid they’re giving us a false hope and that they won’t be able to get the artist students vote for,” sophomore Ashni Patel said.

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