While the overall tone from the Stony Brook community was excitement when it was announced that Childish Gambino and Diplo would be the artists coming to the Brookfest Spring Concert on April 23, I noticed more than a few naysayers around campus critical of USG’s selection of musical artists.
What seems to be the chief concern is the lack of variety in genre of the artists that have come to Stony Brook over the past few years. It seems that rap is the flavor of our generation, and there are those who would appreciate a more eclectic arrangement spread across the four years that students are here.
The argument is that back in the ’70s and ’80s, we had “real” (and I have heard this more than a few times) artists come to Stony Brook. It is true, we did have the likes of Jimi Hendrix and Pink Floyd on campus at one time, but how condescending is it to give artistic merit to one popular artist and deny it to another based on personal preference? While it is rare for me to give USG credit for a job well done, it is their responsibility to try and give representation to the masses at Stony Brook, and that is what they did. They brought a rock group to us in the fall, and hardly anyone showed up. These concerts need to fill up, otherwise, no artist is going to be playing here. If the majority of students say they want a rap or EDM artist, USG is almost obligated to give it to them.
This campus is about as diverse as a campus can get, and it is wholly impossible to please everybody. However, I have a hunch that there would be a lot more pissed off students if Nora Jones or Jewel were headlining. It would be pleasant if everyone could stand behind this as an opportunity for the entire community to come together for a shared experience rather than a “my-music-is-better-than-yours” soapbox smack down.
Bottom line, if you do not like an artist, there is no one forcing you to purchase a ticket. The University Café puts on a primarily rock-focused show every Sunday, and frankly, we live within the largest metropolitan area in the entire country. There is a concert being held from the biggest names to the most obscure literally daily somewhere around here. If this is not your cup of tea, you really do not have to piss in everyone else’s Cheerios. But I implore you to give it a try. Step outside of your comfort zone; worst case, you are out $10 and a fun night at the stadium with friends.