UCSB’s Harder Stadium will host one of hip hop’s best-known musicians — Busta Rhymes — as well as a number of other acts this Sunday for the annual Associated Students Program Board (ASPB) Extravaganza.
Doors to the free concert will open at 1 p.m. and the show’s first act — Hairbrain Scheme, winner of this year’s ASPB Battle of the Bands — is scheduled to take the stage at 2 p.m. Other acts include the Walkmen, Rjd2 and Damian Marley, son of the late reggae artist Bob Marley. The show’s featured artist, Busta Rhymes, is set to perform at 5 p.m. In addition, the event will feature booths from local businesses, including glass blowing from Isla Vista tattoo shop Precious Slut. On-campus student groups will also sell various types of food at the concert, and an art tent will showcase works collected by the National Forest Foundation. Parking for the event will cost $2 per car.
Roughly 7,000 people came to Extravaganza last year, and ASPB commissioner Travis Heard said he hopes this year’s turnout will be higher.
“My hope is that more people will come because more people who might have gone home will come back on Sunday,” Heard said.
The total price tag for this year’s concert, including money to pay the performers and security, is about $80,000, Heard said. The cost of security increased this year because Busta Rhymes is expected to draw a larger audience than artists in previous years, Heard said.
However, Sunday’s Extravaganza will also feature fewer acts compared to previous years. Heard said ASPB decided to reduce the number bands because of the steady decrease in attendance over the last few years.
“If you look at the history of Extravaganza, a decade or 15 years ago, people would come bringing blankets,” Heard said. “They would plan to be there the entire day.”
More recently, concert revelers would only come to the event for some of the better-known acts, and then leave afterward. Heard said ASPB recognizes the trend and is trying to cater this year’s lineup to the audience’s tastes.
“We eliminated some of the side show bands and put more emphasis on getting solid headliners,” Heard said.
Kelly Brennan-Kleyn, ASPB special events coordinator, said the organization was able to book some big name acts because the performers were already booked at other venues close to UCSB. Busta Rhymes operates out of New York, and ASPB would have paid a higher price to book the rap artist for a single show at UCSB because of travel expenses. But because both Busta Rhymes and the Walkmen are already playing shows Saturday at UC Riverside, ASPB was able to book them for a lower price.