The UCSB Associated Students Program Board announced yesterday that this year’s Extravaganza music festival will feature Cee Lo Green, Rusko, Talib Kweli and The Expendables.
This is the first year that the annual event — to be held at Harder Stadium on May 15 — will be open only to university students, faculty and staff. Isla Vista-born band Sprout will open for the festival after winning the A.S. Battle of the Bands competition in February.
According to A.S. Program Board Commissioner Rae Yamamoto, the board is restricting admittance this year to provide the best possible experience for the campus community.
“I feel like that will change the atmosphere a lot,” Yamamoto said. “There will be a lot less crowding and it will be a more peaceful event. It used to be a really chill event and I think this year we can get back to that.”
Yamamoto said the program includes music from several different genres — from Kweli’s classic hip hop to The Expendables’ ska-surf feel — to cater to a diverse audience.
“We chose artists who are big in their own realm,” Yamamoto said. “Everyone who has different music tastes will have at least one artist to cater to them.”
Last month, Cee Lo Green’s management leaked confirmation of the artist’s plans to perform at Extravaganza on Green’s personal website. Although A.S. Program Board requests that artists keep arrangements confidential until the official lineup is released, A.S. Program Board Special Events Coordinator Ali Abbas said it is often difficult to keep the event’s specifics under wraps.
“The management group is usually pretty big and sometimes the message gets lost,” Abbas said. “Every once in a while, somebody just puts it online and that’s how the leaks happen. It’s expected for this many artists and with the amount of time between booking him and the event.”
Abbas said the Program Board efficiently used its limited funding to recruit this year’s lineup.
“We do try to get the best artists possible,” Abbas said. “The truth is just that we can’t afford that big of an artist. We try to do the best that we can and use student fees responsibly.”
Carla Fucich, a third-year psychology and sociology major, said she was unimpressed by the official lineup, especially after hearing rumors that hip hop legend Kanye West would be performing.
“Who the fuck are these people?” Fucich said. “Except for [Cee Lo Green] — how’d we go from Kanye to these no-names? It’s kind of a downgrade.”
Despite some students’ concerns, third-year ecology major Akram Aboukhalil said he is excited to see the wide range of music scheduled for this year’s event.
“Extravaganza has a pretty solid lineup,” Khalil said. “I’m glad A.S. is able to really bring artists from every genre to the show. From real hip hop, dubstep, pop and rock, it will be a show that a lot of people will truly look forward to.”