Hanz Herman / Daily Nexus

On Thursday, May 9, the Associated Students Program Board released the long awaited lineup for this year’s 44th annual Extravaganza concert, featuring headlining act Steve Aoki and subheadlines BLXST and Disco Lines. The grand reveal drew a crowd of approximately 100 attendees, with many being pleased with the lineup.

With past performances including Drake in 2010, Kendrick Lamar in 2013, ODESZA in 2016 and Playboi Carti in 2019, many students feel that Extravaganza should embrace its past and attempt to draw bigger, more universally known acts. Past Extravaganza headliners A$AP Ferg and Galantis received mixed reviews and even criticism. Fortunately for the Associated Students Program Board (ASPB), many feel like this year’s lineup is a significant improvement over past shows. 

“We can’t complain with Steve Aoki or the other two artists,” said second-year pre-biopsychology major Iyu Sharba. 

ASPB Special Events Coordinator and third-year communication and philosophy double major Wally Corngold detailed the process of choosing this year’s performers and theme.

Corngold noted that it was a team-driven effort that was months in the making. “It just is a lot of teamwork, and it just takes a lot of communication and making sure that we’re always on it and planning ahead. This is something that we started planning even before 2024.”

After revealing the long-anticipated performers, members of ASPB passed out ice cream to those in attendance, complementing the show’s theme, “It’ll Be Sweet.” ASPB had done much to promote the event, passing out fortune cookies with hints to the performers and even partnering with the Arbor to create two seasonal drinks, Steve Aoki’s Cake Latte and a Blueberry BLXST Matcha. 

One of the fortune cookies hints handed out in front of Storke Tower read, “Cake by the Ocean,” leading many to believe that the headlining act would be DNCE. However, third-year communication major and ASPB’s Publicity Coordinator Graham Glass revealed that ASPB had included the hint to steer students away from the true headliner and that Joe Jonas would not be coming to Isla Vista just before the festival’s grand reveal. Other guesses overheard in the crowd included Katy Perry and Japanese Breakfast, but many correctly predicted the grand headliner. 

The lineup was hand-painted on a sign like past years, featuring decorations of inflatable gummy bears and ice cream cones to compliment the “It’ll Be Sweet” theme. This year’s performers  were revealed through “caking” three members of the AS Program Board, after which a sign revealing each of the three acts was shown. The reveal and theme for this year’s Extravaganza is a reference to Steve Aoki’s famed caking act, in which he throws a full-sized birthday cake at one lucky audience member. 

“We wanted something fun and sweet, especially because we had in mind Steve Aoki as our headliner, infamous for caking people in the audience — and it worked out perfectly,” Glass explained.

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Aoki in particular is a special headliner for many, as the DJ is one of UCSB’s most famous alumni and got his start hosting underground shows in the Santa Barbara Student Housing Cooperative’s Biko House. Many are excited to see the UCSB alumni return to his former school and hope the performance will be especially memorable. 

“We feel like having that alumni connection is a connection that inherently he is going to have with everyone who goes here. So we hope that that can bring another layer of excitement on top of the fact that he’s such a legendary DJ,” Corngold stated. 

“I’m hyped for Steve Aoki,” fourth-year political science major Elisa Abondolo said. “I actually used to go to a different school, and I saw him there … so I know he loves the college crowd, and I just think this being his alma mater is going to be extra special.”

Rapper BLXST is known for his many collaborations with different artists, including Kendrick Lamar, Ty Dolla $ign, Offset and 21 Savage. His music has been described as a blend of hip-hop and R&B with 8.5 million monthly listeners on Spotify

“For our second slot, we knew we wanted to go with hip-hop, because we know there’s a really big hip-hop community at this school. A lot of people respond really well to shows where we have rappers or R&B artists, and then we realized that we hadn’t really touched R&B in the past couple of years,” Glass elaborated.

Rounding out the initial lineup reveal is DJ Thadeus Labuszewski, known better by his stage name Disco Lines. ASPB shared that they reached out to book Disco Lines after the Up & Up Festival attempted to bring the performer to UCSB as a part of their college tours. The Up & Up Festival is a 48 hour competition in which the school with the most tickets pre-sold wins the opportunity to host a concert given by the featured artist.

“There were a ton of tickets that were sold from UCSB from students wanting to see him, so we already knew that he had an audience … Disco Lines is extremely on the rise, so he was someone that we wanted to book before he became too big,” Corngold explained.

“A lot of people wanted to see Disco Lines in the first place, so that’s gonna be cool … I’m stoked,” second-year history of public policy and law major Hope Piscitelli said. 

While Steve Aoki is well known among UCSB students, many showed an interest in using Extravaganza as an opportunity to  discover the works of BLXST and Disco Lines. 

“I don’t know the other two artists, but I’ll definitely check them out before Extravaganza. I’m hyped,” fourth-year history and Italian studies double major Isabella Potter said. 

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ASPB also revealed a fourth headliner Tuesday afternoon, indie rock singer and Tennesse-native Briston Maroney, most notably known for his 2018 track “Freakin’ Out on the Interstate”. Maroney is also known for being a contestant on Season 13 of American Idol, where he made it to the top 30. 

The 44th annual installment of Extravaganza will be hosted on May 19 at UCSB’s Harder Stadium and promises to be an event to remember.