Last Saturday, the Ying Yang Twins concert at the Lake Matoaka amphitheater was rescheduled to end at 10 p.m. instead of 11 p.m., after a decision made by Williamsburg City officials and College officials.
According to Jeanna Occhiogrosso ’08, University Center Activities Board Music chair, the first word of the decision to reschedule was passed onto UCAB at 11 a.m. Saturday morning by Mark Constantine, director of Student Activities.
The reason for the sudden rescheduling was the city’s noise curfew of 10 p.m., though the College has been allowed extensions for past concerts.
UCAB was forced to rescind on contractual obligations made to both Thao with the Get Down Stay Down and the Ying Yang Twins, the two musical groups performing Saturday, by cutting down their allotted performance times. The performance also had to start 10 minutes earlier, at 7:50 p.m. instead of 8 p.m.
“It made UCAB look kind of sloppy, … when it was a situation that was largely out of our hands,” Occhiogrosso said.
According to Constantine, the sudden timing of the decision was due to a miscommunication between Williamsburg City Police and College officials. City police were under the impression that the concert had been scheduled to end at 10 p.m.
The discovery of the conflict was followed by a meeting between city officials and College officials late Friday, which included Constantine, City Manager Jack Tuttle and Assistant to the President Michael Fox. They reached a decision to end the concert at 10 p.m. in accordance with the city’s noise curfew.
“There was discussion before [this concert] about loudness,” Constantine said. “This isn’t the first time we’ve had noise-ordinance issues with the city.”
According to Constantine, the amphitheater’s outdoor location has been an issue for many residents because of the potential noise level and the explicit lyrical content of some performers.
Occhiogrosso said that UCAB has received letters from residents expressing protest over the explicit lyrics of the Ying Yang Twins, specifically because of the amphitheater’s open atmosphere and close proximity to residents.
“The City Council had been putting pressure on the College to end the concert at 10 p.m.,” Occhiogrosso said.
Constantine stated that “there wasn’t so much pressure as concern.”
City Council member Paul Freiling ’83 said the council has had no formal or informal discussion regarding the outdoor location of the amphitheater.
“I haven’t heard a single complaint from any single resident about the performances,” he said.
Explicit portions of the Ying Yang Twins’ show were edited out after an agreement was reached between the College and the rappers’ management a week before the concert. The artists have a prearranged show in the event that such a request is made.
“If we were at William and Mary Hall, not outdoors, we would have most assuredly done the [explicit] show,” Constantine said.
Constantine added that the College made the decision to end the show early in consideration of city residents.
“We’re growing with [the amphitheater]; we’ve got to work between the College and the city,” Constantine said. “We have to make sure that we’re advocating for students, but that we’re also in tune with town-gown relations.”