Boasting a lineup of performers such as E-40, Pepper and the Pharcyde, this year’s Extravaganza concert seeks to draw in the crowds by expanding its entertainment to include professional skateboarders and BMX bikers.
The annual, admission-free Associated Students Program Board event is set for May 21 in Harder Stadium. The event also features local bands Animal Liberation Orchestra and Rebelution. Gates open at 1 p.m. and the show starts at 2.
ASPB Commissioner and fourth-year psychology and philosophy major Brendan Finch said the concert is the largest ASPB event of the school year.
“I think it’s one of the coolest events UCSB puts on,” Finch said. “It should be an amazing show this year.”
He said Extravaganza has drawn large crowds in the past and he hopes this year’s event will attract even more concertgoers than last year’s show, which featured the popular rapper Busta Rhymes.
“Last year there were six to seven thousand [people watching] Busta,” Finch said. “The year before, there were six thousand. We’re hoping for around eight thousand kids [this year].”
This year’s acts, Finch said, are very popular in Santa Barbara.
“E-40 is smoking hot,” Finch said. “We just happened to book him right on the cusp of him getting really big. We just got lucky. The booking people we have right now are doing a really great job.”
ASPB concerts coordinator and third-year political science major Richard Sloven also said he was pleased with this year’s headliners.
“[E-40’s] ‘Tell Me When to Go’ is the biggest hit,” Sloven said. “The Pharcyde has been popular since the ’90s as an alternative hip-hop group.”
ASPB special events coordinator and fourth-year communication major Misty Brewster said many of the other featured acts have performed in Santa Barbara on various occasions.
“Pepper’s been here before [and their show] sold out,” Brewster said. “ALO used to play in I.V. a lot. Rebelution is a great local band. Reggae goes over really big here.”
Brewster said ASPB began planning for the event in September and booked the concert date in November.
Finch said other UCs have events similar to Extravaganza.
“Davis has a festival that goes Friday, Saturday, Sunday,” Finch said. “San Diego has the Sun God Festival that I’d say is two times Extravaganza, but they’re also working with four times the budget. It makes it a little different.”
Finch said the event cost ASPB $100,000 overall to organize, including security and rental space fees.
“Talent cost $50,000,” he said. “Throwing events on campus is extraordinarily expensive.”
Brewster said that new additions to Extravaganza this year are the skateboarders and BMX bikers.
“We’re going to have a half-pipe on the field,” she said. “Hopefully that will kill some of the downtime in between sets, keep the energy high, keep people from getting bored.”
Sloven said concertgoers should arrive early to avoid the long entrance lines at the security gates.