Ludacris will take the stage Feb. 7 at Kaplan Arena for the College of William and Mary’s Charter Day Concert.
Ludacris is a Grammy-winning rapper whose songs include “Money Maker,” “Area Codes” and “Rollout.” He has also acted in the “Fast and Furious” series and guest-starred on “Law and Order: Special Victims Unit.”
Singer Andy Grammer will open for Ludacris. Grammer, who is known for his hit-singles “Keep Your Head Up” and “Fine By Me,” contrasts with the headliner, as he exudes a pop vibe that diverges from Ludacris’s hip-hop dynamic.
Vice President of the Student Assembly Kendall Lorenzen ’15 said she believes the unconventional combination of Ludacris and Grammer will be a hit with students.
“I actually think it’s going to be a good thing because hopefully it will be able to please more different people who like different kinds of music,” Lorenzen said.
The Charter Day Concert committee is composed of SA and AMP representatives, as well as several College administrators. The Charter Day student chairs did express some concern about bringing another hip-hop artist to campus after Wiz Khalifa performed at Charter Day last year and Shwayze appeared a few months ago.
The committee initially set their sights on a bringing a pop or rock artist to campus to break up the stream of rappers performing at the College. However, the committee had difficulty booking artists in those genres.
“We set out with the mentality that we couldn’t do another hip-hop artist, due to the [recent performances by] Shwayze and Wiz…but we had very, very bad luck with our avails. And the truth is that hip-hop is what is popular in the mainstream right now, as a result, much more famous artists are available for cheaper,” AMP’s Music Committee Chair Arvin Alaigh ’15 said in an email. “In a sense, we get more bang for our buck with hip-hop, and when push came to shove, we couldn’t pass up an artist as widely and critically acclaimed as Ludacris, especially given the urgency of the concert.”
The announcement of the Charter Day Concert performer came later this school year, as it was announced at the Yule Log Ceremony in 2013. Lorenzen explained that the Charter Day Concert committee encountered trouble when artists didn’t sign contracts the committee was putting out. The Grammys, which will be held Feb. 8, the day after the Charter Day Concert, also presented a dilemma.
“This year, it seemed more difficult than most to get artists to agree to come,” Lorenzen said.
Alaigh also explained that touring season for many artists doesn’t begin until spring, which adds to the difficulty of booking performers.
“Artists are cheaper when they are routed in for a tour, which essentially means that they already have a tour planned and are in the area in a particular date,” Alaigh said. “For charter day, the case is usually that we have an artist only play our date, and as a result, it costs more.”
Student Assembly President Colin Danly ’15 suggested that it might be time to take another look at the idea of Charter Day Concert.
“Don’t take the Charter Day Concert concept as set in stone moving forward to future years. … I think it is a little difficult [to bring an artist to Williamsburg] with the Grammys and tour dates all smack dab in the middle,” Danly said.
So far, Alaigh said responses to the announcement of Ludacris and Grammer have been positive.
“The initial response to the announcement has been superb, and I think I can speak for the entire committee when saying that we are absolutely thrilled for concert day,” he said.