The contract is signed, the date is set, the venue is secure and now Grand Valley State University’s Spotlight Productions is pleased to announce Hoodie Allen with Lion Babe will headline the annual spring concert on April 9.
“It starts with polling the student body, so we send out a survey to everyone at Grand Valley and we ask them what genre,” said Spotlight Productions Music Chair Kaylee Groenewold. “We got a lot of requests in the past to bring Hoodie Allen to campus, so we decided to finally make it happen.
“His availability was great; he is going on a college tour right now, and so it worked out perfectly.”
There was no debate amongst the organizers; they wanted to book Hoodie Allen, Groenewold said.
“There is a lot of things that went into it. First of all, he is very personal with his fans,” Groenewold said. “He is really on the rise right now, and that is especially what we are looking for – artists that have a lot of potential and are coming up.”
Allen is known for hits such as “All About It” featuring Ed Sheeran, “No Interruption,” “No Faith in Brooklyn” and “Lady Killers.” This hip-hop artist has also played shows alongside musicians such as Passion Pit and Macklemore.
“It wasn’t really that hard of a decision – we have been looking at him since October,” Greonewold said. “We have been following him for a while. There were some other artists that we looked at just in case his availability didn’t work…but for the most part Hoodie is the only artist we have been looking at.”
His unique R&B, hip-hop jive is due to his musical influences: Amy Winehouse, Justin Timberlake and Talib Kweli. Allen’s music is a narrative with a poetic flow.
Booking Allen was a change from the musicians that usually perform at the spring concert. In the past, country artists such as David Nail and Sam Hunt have headlined the show.
“Well a lot of time with the spring concert, in the past, is a more country artist,” Groenewold said. “We wanted to do something that was outside of that genre and also what the student body was looking for – which was less of the country music and more of the hip-hop genre.”
Beginning March 16, tickets are available for purchase at the 20/20 desk and at startickets.com. Tickets are $10 for students, $15 for GVSU faculty, staff and alumni and $25 for the public. Students are limited to two tickets, and tickets increase to $15 on the day of the show.
“It is a unique opportunity that we get to put on such a big production, and we are very lucky that we get to put on a show when other colleges don’t get this,” Greonewold said. “It is affordable, it’s going to be fun and it is a really great part of being a Laker.”