Each year, SEE’s Fallapalooza brings one of the biggest names in electronic music to the University of Maryland. Last year, it was producer Jai Wolf. This year, the duo Snakehips is headlining the concert, which will be held Thursday in Ritchie Coliseum.
Members of Student Entertainment Events say it intends to include diversity, but that they must allocate their resources over the course of the year, catering to student interest as well as their annual budget.
“We want to make sure that there’s space for those other people to come out,” said SEE spokeswoman Laura Cross.
Fallapalooza was inaugurated in 2015. The headliner that year was Zeds Dead, another electronic duo, out of Canada. Tickets sold out. SEE quickly adapted to the growing popularity of the genre, deciding to continue to base Fallapalooza on it.
EDM is popular on campus, but there is a large demand for hip-hop as well. The genre recently outranked rock as the most-consumed music in the country.
“Art Attack’s normally hip-hop or R&B because that’s what the majority of campus wants to see, and that’s our big show,” said SEE Concerts Director Charles Boulton. “Kids that love alternative music or indie music or electronic music, they don’t really get to see shows on campus.”
Boulton said that in many cases, hip-hop artists can be hard to book, due to possible roadblocks such as an artist not wanting to play college shows, a busy schedule or an expensive booking cost.
Sophomore computer science major Chanh Tran is interested in both old school and modern hip-hop. He said there are artists in the genre with a big enough following who would be financially feasible to have perform, such as Prince George’s County’s own Oddisee.
SEE gets much of its funding from Terps After Dark, in addition to the Student Government Association, the Stamp Student Union and a variety of sponsors, including Terrapin Row and The Varsity.
Social media is the organization’s most effective way of connecting with students on campus and monitoring their interests — Facebook and Twitter polls are conducted once the board has an idea of which artists make practical choices. SEE also sends out surveys, asking about favorite genres and preferred time and day of events.
Social media outlets are also its main approach to advertising, in addition to flyers and chalking on campus sidewalks.
Junior hearing and speech major Elizabeth McAllen said she has an interest in alternative and indie music, but added that as a student who lives off the campus, she isn’t as attuned to SEE’s events.
“I’ve been here a year and a half, and I’ve pretty much just seen Art Attack posters,” she said.
Tran also commutes and said he had never heard of the organization, but is aware of the events they orchestrate. However, he said he has little interest.
“I’m not really sure what’s up with them,” he said.
For students who do not follow the organization on social media outlets, SEE tries to go to them. The First Look Fair provides a prime opportunity to target a broader base of the campus community.
Cross said that many people ask about their selection process, and often forget that they are students who also have interesting people and events they’d like to see on campus. Cross is highly anticipating the performance of Laura Jane Grace. The lead singer of punk rock band Against Me!, Grace is a transgender woman who recently made her transition.
“It’s going to be super interesting to see someone in such a male-dominated genre come and play acoustics,” Cross said.
Fallapalooza is one of five performances for this year’s Fall Concert Series. Aside from Snakehips and Grace, alternative rock band Grizfolk and genre-blending artist K.Flay are on the lineup.
Sam Pudiak, a senior psychology major, is going to Fallapalooza. While she said she has no idea who Snakehips is, her roommate invited her to go.
“They could do more to tell you about the artist they’re showcasing and the type of music they’re playing,” she said.
Still, she thinks SEE puts on good shows, and said despite her lack of familiarity with some artists, the concerts have made her a fan of some of the performers, such as Logic.