“Good Kid” a Great Choice For Sun God

 

If you’ve been anywhere near social media this week, you probably already know that there’s an overwhelmingly positive response to this year’s Sun God Festival lineup. The Guardian agrees: A.S. Concerts and Events got it right this year. Up-and-coming rapper Kendrick Lamar will be headlining the main stage, with Porter Robinson at the dance stage. There will also be a second lineup release at the end of April that should be a promising addition to this already stellar lineup.

In years past, Sun God lineups have been filled with two kinds of artists: the unknown and the too known. Examples of the “too well-known” include Silversun Pickups and Big Sean. Everyone knew that one song “Lazy Eye,” but no one really cared to hear an emo anthem after a long day of inebriation. Most students were laying on the grass rather than dancing, and that isn’t the kind of response a headliner should get. Examples of the unknown are, well, unknown. Why have we spent money on previous Sun God artists who are past their prime (Jimmy Eat World) or have no foreseeable prime whatsoever (Yacek)?

The budget for the festival always stays the same: $530,000 (with a $20,000 contingency). Approximately $180,000 was spent on talent this year, while the remainder of the money goes toward other festival essentials (security, stages, lights, etc.). This is a very large number, and upon an initial glance, it might seem like cause for concern. The budget has remained consistent for a number of years in order to produce and maintain the quality tradition that UCSD students look forward to most. Fees and student opposition often go hand in hand, but the general consensus on campus seems to be that students support this expensive yet important tradition that serves almost as an initiation for freshmen each year.

ASCE did not disclose exactly how much it cost them to get Lamar to perform on the coveted RIMAC stage, but frankly, we couldn’t care less. Their choice of artist is the perfect combination of fresh and popular. His first major label debut album, “good kid, m.A.A.d city,” received widespread attention when his two songs, “Swimming Pools (Drank)” and “Poetic Justice,” made the Top 40 charts, but it’s the narrative of the album that draws listeners in by the fire to hear more.

ASCE deserves credit for the thematic choice in up-and-coming artists. In recent years, Tritons have gotten to see Macklemore and Ryan Lewis, Wiz Khalifa and Drake all before they really made it big. Lamar falls in line with this trend, and the student population seems to be far more enthusiastic about this year’s headliner than those of years past, despite the presence of lesser-known supporting acts. The primary factor behind the success of this lineup seems to be the student survey that ASCE sent out earlier this year. With around 2,000 student responses submitted, ASCE was able to get an adequate sample that showed that UCSD students want to see a Top 40 artist performing on any Triton’s favorite day of the year. As much as we appreciate indie music at the Guardian, we know that it’s dirty radio rap without the censors that pairs well with being wasted, not Wilco.

It’s unfortunate that guest ticket prices have risen by $5 this year, but the increase was implemented by the UCSD Box Office, not by ASCE. This won’t to stop anyone from buying $65 guest tickets, and if anything, the extra $5 is worth being able to purchase tickets online instead of waiting in the endless lines at Price Center, as we all did in earlier years.

With Tyler the Creator playing at Porter’s Pub this coming Sunday and Armin van Buuren at RIMAC in May, this is already a great quarter for live music, and the Sun God lineup is that extra push that we need to finish off the year.