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Khalid’s next ‘Location’
The Student Programming Board and President John Lahey announce artists performing at Wake the Giant 2018
The Student Programming Board (SPB) grabbed the attention of the university community at the #WTG18 Reveal Party on Tuesday, Jan. 23. Dozens of students attended the event in the Piazza at 11:30 a.m. as they waited for the announcement of the Wake the Giant headliner.
At noon, Quinnipiac University President John Lahey took to the mic to express his involvement, both financially and emotionally, in this year’s concert.
“I’m delighted to be in partnership this year with the Student Programming Board,” he said. “If there’s one thing I haven’t accomplished in 31 years, if you think about it, is that Giant is still sleeping! This year I’m proud that our office, in conjunction with the Student Programming Board, is going to do something very special, Wake the Giant 2018!”
“(The reaction was) exactly what I expected, everyone went crazy,” senior SPB Mainstage Chair Joe Mania said. “I’m just glad everyone is happy and excited to finally see a name that they want to go to Wake the Giant.”
While Mania identifies himself as a fan of the Electronic dance music genre, he found a common trend in Quinnipiac students’ preference of genre for the annual concert.
“We surveyed our students and got over 2,000 responses and I used that religiously to make sure we picked an artist and genre that followed that,” he said. “There were definitely a lot of other people I looked at ahead of Khalid but after talking with my agent, Khalid is playing a lot of other big state schools, so this is the best choice for us right now.”
With SPB’s support from President Lahey’s office, specifically financially, Khalid will not be the only big name taking the stage on April 14.
Tuesday’s Reveal Party was not routine for SPB. Mania recalls hosting smaller reveal events in the past, but said that SPB wanted to make this year’s reveal bigger to match the heightened concert experience in the works.
“This year specifically is much bigger especially because President Lahey reached out to us and wanted to have that influence on the concert,” Mania said. “We wanted to bring in live entertainment, have a ton of food, bring a lot of people here to learn about the event and we’re really excited this year. It’s going to be a much bigger Wake the Giant than we’ve had in the past.”
Students in attendance at the reveal party now have high hopes for Wake the Giant. Freshman Monique Parikh attended Fall Fest but had not heard of Wake the Giant until the reveal.
“I feel like now students will be more excited for what’s coming in April,” Parikh said. “I think what’s popular now is hip hop or rap… I just wouldn’t want to see country, I’m not really into that.”
With an overwhelming interest in a hip hop concert, Mania believes Bobcats will be eager to get their tickets for the event.
“I think people might be surprised at the caliber of talent we were able to get this year… I believe that our ticket sales will be one of the quickest,” he said. “I will be surprised if we don’t sell out pretty quickly, I think that’s how popular this concert’s going to be this year.”
Despite Khalid’s popularity, one person in particular has not identified as a fan.
“I actually have not [heard of Khalid] I have to say,” Lahey said. “I’ve attended a few [Wake the Giant] concerts in the past but this year since its my last year I definitely want to be there.”
For those like President Lahey who are not familiar with the headliner, Khalid is a singer/songwriter from El Paso, Texas. After his entrance into the music-making world in 2015, Khalid’s R&B hit “Location” was in the Top 10 of Billboard’s Hot R&B Songs chart by January 2017. The 19-year-old singer-songwriter then released his album “American Teen” in March of last year.
Senior Dhara Bhuptani is optimistic that this year’s concert experience will be better than year’s past.
“I love [Khalid’s] songs. I’m excited, I just think its different than every other artist we’ve ever had, which I think is good,” she said. “I went to the Jason Derulo one my freshman year, which was really good. I went to Fetty, but he ended up being like three hours late.”
Bhuptani believes that Fetty Wap’s performance was over-commercialized, but she is hopeful that Khalid’s performance will be better. As she said, “we’ll see.”
The event will be held in the Lender Court at the TD Bank Sports Center on April 14 with ticket sales opening on March 4. The concert will begin at 8 p.m., and doors will open at 7 p.m.
“Like last year, we will have floor tickets available for $25 and seats for $20 and it will be open to the undergraduate community and each student will be able to buy one ticket additionally,” Mania said.
Mania said that this year SPB is developing a plan to give every student a fair chance to obtain a ticket.
“There are ways in the works to make sure people are being truthful with their tickets. We want to make sure every student has the same opportunity to get into the event. We will definitely have some sort of protocol in place to make sure we are using a ticket they purchased and not someone else’s.”
Amid the excitement, an air of nostalgia remained present as President Lahey mentioned his retirement.
“As you know this is my last year, I’m retiring on June 30, 2018 so it’s 31 years and three months for those who are counting… but the thing I’ll miss most about being president is all of you, the students,” Lahey said. “It will be bittersweet for me, it will be my last student concert so hopefully that will add to it, but I’m sure Khalid by himself will be enough to generate plenty of excitement.”