After first-choice Sendoff performer Chance the Rapper declined their offer, Social Board has chosen the pop-musical duo Sleigh Bells as a close second.
Last fall, Social Board administered a survey asking students to rate their preferences for Sendoff bands across multiple genres. According to Social Board Co-Chairs Lauren Berke ’14 and Gracie Donley ’14, there wasn’t a clear frontrunner between the different musical categories.
“It differed as little as five percent,” Berke said.
With this in mind, Social Board began looking for bands in categories that rated 15 percent above and below their band budget. The event’s entire budget is $80,000, which is equivalent to last year’s budget. Cutting down a working list of about 100 bands, Social Board eventually made a top five list of bands that seemed to be the best “Kenyon fit,” according to Kim Blank, assistant director of student activities for programming and Social Board’s advisor. “We’re lucky that on Social Board we do have a very diverse array of musical opinions,” she said.
Though an $80,000 budget may appear to be a high amount, Blank said the cost of lights, stage and sound can cost almost as much as the artist fee.
With the headliner secured, Social Board will now begin the search for an opener. Though the process has just begun, Berke and Donley said they will try to emulate the successful pairing of rapper Big Boi and alternative-rock band STRFKR at 2012’s Sendoff.
“What we hope to do is get an opener that’s a complementary, different genre,” Blank said. Such a pairing will also reflect the survey results, where hip-hop and alternative/rock-pop were within one to two votes of each other. Social Board hopes to announce the opener by next month.
Donley urged students with suggestions to email Social Board, but to remember that other considerations have to go into selecting an artist. “They have to be within our price range, available and [willing] to work with the other band,” Donley said. “So the search is still going on.”
Sendoff activities will be similar to the past two years’ format; however, Blank did say that discussions regarding the inclusion of different vendors and activities outside of the fenced-in area are still ongoing. Sleigh Bells will perform on Friday, April 25, but the show will take place a little later than in years past in order to include a light show with the concert.