Wiz Khalifa to Headline Sun God

From left to right: Crystal Castles, Wiz Khalifa, Mike Posner and JFK of MSTRKRFT

After five months of planning, A.S. Concerts and Events Media Liaison Oliver Zhang sat down with the Guardian Sunday afternoon to leak the lineup for the annual Sun God Festival.

“For me, it’s the best lineup we’ve ever had,” Zhang said of the May 13 festival.

Rapper Wiz Khalifa will be headlining the main stage, while Jesse F. Keeler (JFK) of electronic music duo MSTRKRFT will be the main act at the dance tent.

Best Coast, Mike Posner, Jimmy Eat World and Crystal Castles will also play the main stage. The support for the dance tent — as well as one more act for the main stage — will be revealed once the artist contracts are completed.

“Not all contracts are fully executed,” Zhang said. “When we release something we want to make sure that the contracts are fully valid, just in case they back out at the last minute.”

Associate Vice President of Concerts and Events Brian Wong said he is proud of the lineup.

“We knew coming into this year that it would be hard to top the success of 2010,” he said in an email. “To make this year’s lineup even more impressive, we wanted to make every act fun and relevant. I believe we did it and this year’s lineup is the most exciting and diverse one Sun God has ever had.”

The main stage and dance tent openers will be selected at the Battle of the Bands and Sun God Space Jam, both to be held at Porter’s Pub April 7 and April 8, respectively.

The bands and DJs competing for the slots were narrowed down by an online student vote. Six bands — Lucid Stereo, Gao Gao and the Bamboo Shoots, Scooter and Oliver, The City Walls, Kera and the Lesbians and Tré Elite — and six DJs — Digital Decay, DJ Philly, The Dream Team, JameRSun, NOLD and StereoChemistry — will battle at each event for a chance to play at Sun God.

The rest of the lineup was chosen by the A.S. Concerts and Events staff, with regard to student input from Facebook and forums the office held.

“The booking process for this year’s Sun God has been quite the long and ongoing experience since Fall Quarter,” festival coordinator Jeremy Gabriel said in an email. “As we expected, we had our share of road bumps, disappointments with certain artists being unavailable, the inevitable onslaught of ‘This Artist for Sun God!’ Facebook pages, and the amusing fake lineups.”

The festival’s total budget, which is drawn from student fees that A.S. Council allocated and guest ticket sales, is roughly $530,000, with around $190,000 spent on the talent. Last year, ASCE spent about $690,000 on Sun God Festival, $50,000 of which went to security and about $190,000 of which went toward the talent. Zhang said ASCE will spend approximately the same amount on security this year.

There have been other changes made to the event. This year, Sun God will be breaking from tradition and beginning at 2 p.m., rather than the standard 12 p.m. starting time. Zhang said the office made the adjustment to tighten the budget.

“We wanted to make every act on the lineup reach out to a base of people,” Zhang said. “It made the talent budget more compact so that we could spend more money on certain artists. That really contributed to making this year’s lineup stand out a lot more.”

Additionally, the overcrowding of the dance tent last year — which resulted in police shutting down the stage at the end of DJ Z-Trip’s set — has been remedied by a new type of tent that will be easier for students to enter and exit.

“It’s not going to be the tent anymore — it’s going to be a different structure,” Zhang said. “It will allow for more student to be in there, though it will still be a closed space.”

In an effort to get more UCSD students into the festival, guest ticket prices have gone up, while their number has gone down. There will be 3,000 guest tickets (500 less than last year’s festival) for sale at $50 — an increase from the $41 tickets last year — beginning April 11.

Guest tickets must be purchased by a UCSD student or employee, with a limit of two tickets per person. Last year, the guest tickets sold out two and a half weeks after they went on sale.

Student wristbands will be available for pick-up beginning the Thursday before the event. Zhang is confident this year’s lineup will help the festival sell out for the third time in its history.

In 2008, wristbands sold out the day before the festival, while last year students were turned away after 2:30 p.m. the day of. The 2009 festival did not sell out.

The deadline for students interested in playing the Midway stage and for organization booths is April 15 while the deadline for student art displays is April 22.

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