Mayfest: booking the bands

    As Northwestern students count down the hours before Dillo Day, Mayfest announced its final lineup on Wednesday. By confirming the presence of supporting acts, the student group ended the months-long process of finalizing the list of artists who will define one of the most exciting days of the year at Northwestern.

    Mike Posner, VEGA and Tally Hall complete the Dillo Day lineup. This year’s previously announced headliners include Estelle, The Decemberists, and N.E.R.D.

    Duke student and artist Mike Posner, who first spoke to North by Northwestern on May 11 and was confirmed by Mayfest on Tuesday, has been the subject of Northwestern student enthusiasm before he was even approached by Mayfest to perform on Dillo Day, garnering support from hundreds of members of a Facebook group.

    “We’ve been aware of him for awhile, because some members of the board were aware of him and were fans,” Mayfest Co-Chair Diana Richter said. “When the group started, that solidified the fact that this guy has Northwestern’s attention.”

    Big Sean, who performed on campus earlier this quarter, will also be on stage with Posner.

    “They’re a packaged deal. They work well together, and I think Big Sean enjoyed his first time at Northwestern, so why wouldn’t he come again?” Richter said.

    DJ Alan Palomo, who goes by the stage name Vega, will also be performing. The artist recently had a set during the Coachella Festival, and was recommended to Mayfest by an agency.

    “We listened to his stuff, and it sounded like really great, appropriate music for keeping people pumped waiting for artists,” Richter said.

    Michigan rock band Tally Hall will also be present, an act that Mayfest Co-Chair Katherine Hadley said would attract a variety of students.

    “They really do appeal to any person’s type of music,” the Communication senior said. “They’re so high energy live that even if you don’t know their music, you can still dance along to them, or at least enjoy them.”

    While headlining artists are typically signed earlier in the year, the weeks directly preceding Dillo Day are usually spent looking for supporting acts.

    “Starting in November, we’re continuously sending offers, and we generally try to get the biggest name possible, and when those options become exhausted we go to lower price points and smaller artists,” Richter said. “In the last few weeks, that’s when we can start experimenting with the little amount of money that we have left.”

    “We’ve had Tally Hall on our radar since September,” Hadley said. “Because they’re smaller bands we didn’t have to worry about them doing massive tours, so we can usually get them on a shorter notice.”

    Even though some students expressed disappointment over the 2009 lineup, Richter said that negative reactions happen every year.

    “Every year, people complain,” the Weinberg senior said. “We’re dedicating all of our time to the students, and we just want the best for the students, so we’re obviously not going out of our way to make a horrible Dillo Day.”

    For Hadley, the diversity of music taste within Mayfest usually guarantees that there is a variety of genres.

    “Mayfest sometimes gets a bad rap, because we’re too much into that, too much into this, but we really are a good representation of the whole campus,” she said.

    But for Mayfest members, their concerns now lie beyond discussions of the lineup.

    “It’s exciting to have the lineup finalized, but on the Mayfest side of things, what matters for us is executing the event,” Richter. “So the lineup is only one fourth of our worries, if that.”


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