The American college experience is a unique beast that swallows the best of us in a pit of drugs and alcohol and spits us out a little damaged, but hardened and ready for the real world. But there's an essential, yet overlooked component of college...the music! There's a reason Rolling Stone keeps a college radio chart in every issue. Some schools take music enthusiasm to the next level with Spring Fling Festivals, which typically feature three or more major artists from a variety of genres. The point is to give students a nice break before finals hit, but one has to wonder how much concentration you can muster after an exhausting weekend of dancing. We searched through this year's campus lineups and refined the list down to the five best.
UPenn picked out some kind of washed-up acts, but they're still undeniably big names. DJ and mega producer David Guetta will be headlining the festival alongside Ra Ra Riot and Magic Man. In a recent interview, Guetta claimed in so many words that his party lifestyle is so exhausting that he can't be expected to mix things live every single set. My advice to Penn: Make sure you get your money's worth. Check out Ra Ra Riot's hit single "Can You Tell" below.
Yale's Spring Fling lineup features headliners Diplo and Chance the Rapper, as well as pop singer Betty Who. This Ivy League seems to take the opinion of their student body pretty seriously, as they took suggestions into consideration for the construction of this year's lineup. Watch their collection of data input for their student satisfactory lineup in the video below.
This little Ivy has put together a small time version of its big brothers' lineups, yet we're ranking theirs third for its originality. Instead of going with a bigger name hip-hop act, Tufts hired Brooklyn native and Community star Childish Gambino. Instead of casting the king of electronic Diplo, they went with Chicago duo Flosstradamus, who will surely still shatter a few Medford windows. The third name on the bill is the iconic indie rock act The New Pornographers, a group that has kept a low profile lately and haven't released an album since 2010, but hopefully they'll gift Tufts with some new material.
Vanderbilt's two-weekend event is like Tennessee's college version of Bonnaroo. Unlike the other lineups in our list, Vanderbilt has managed to incorporate smaller, up-and-coming artists with big name acts. Headlining Friday and Saturday are Steve Aoki and 2 Chainz, and supporting acts include: Cherub, The Mowgli's, Delta Rae, twenty one pilots, Harper Blynn, MisterWives (our personal favorites check out our session with them below), Ace Hood, Smallpools, Amy Wilcox, Stix Izza, and two winners of Vanderbilt's battle of the bands.
Winner, winner, chicken dinner. There's a good reason why Brown was voted the college with the happiest students in 2010 by the Princeton Review, and this lineup is so good just looking at it is upping my serotonin. Any college kid that pays even the slightest attention to the music world would find something to be excited about in this lineup: EDM bros and twerking teens can do as they please with Diplo, Ivy League hipsters who are course straddling at RISD can spiritually ascend with Andrew Bird, Dan Deacon, and Cloud Nothings, and all those hip-hop heads get a bit of the new and the old, with the legendary Ms. Lauryn Hill and budding star Chance the Rapper. Of course no Providence event is complete without a few wacky twists thrown in the middle... Rhode Island brass band natives What Cheer? Brigade will also play at Brown's mouthwatering Spring Weekend.