Hip-hop artist Waka Flocka Flame and DJ Whoo Kid will headline this year’s newly named Fall Fest, Tufts University Concert Board announced at Fall Gala on Sept. 9. The show will take place in the Carzo Cage at 8 p.m. on Oct. 1, with doors opening at 7 p.m. and closing at 8:30 p.m, according to Concert Board Co-Chair Alex Mitchell.
The fall show, formerly known as Cage Rage, was renamed Fall Fest in a rebranding effort, Mitchell, a junior, said. The show was also moved to take place earlier in the year to coincide with Homecoming, he added.
“We’ve been experiencing some low ticket sales in the past even though the shows have been really good. It’s been more indie,” he said. “[We] decided to go [with a] bigger name and switch genres up a little bit to make it a more Spring Fling-like show, more of a festive atmosphere.”
According to Mitchell, Cage Rage has had three acts in the past, but this year it will have two: Waka Flocka Flame with DJ Whoo Kid and Michael Christmas, a local rapper from Boston.
“That was a conscious decision to allow us some budgetary flexibility,” he said.
According to Ashley Austin, assistant director for campus life and programming, Fall Fest is essentially equivalent to Cage Rage as far as production goes, but she and Concert Board wanted to change the name of the event after receiving negative feedback from both students and administrators.
“I know that the administration has been wanting to change the name for a while just because it sounds a little much, but Cage Rage is actually pretty docile for an event because it’s typically indie music, very chill,” she said.
According to Mitchell, tickets will go on sale on Monday, Sept. 19 at 10:30 a.m. at the Mayer Campus Center information booth and online at tuftstickets.com.
Mitchell said that 1,500 tickets will be available but that he expected them to go quickly.
“We’re anticipating it’s going to sell out the day tickets go on sale,” he said.
Tickets will be 10 dollars for students, and each student will be able to purchase one guest ticket for 30 dollars, Austin said.
“We’ve done two guest tickets in the past, but we wanted to make sure that as many students as possible get tickets because we know people are excited, so we limited it to one this year,” she said.
Concert Board Co-Chair Gracie Kanigher said that the process of booking an artist for Fall Fest began over the summer. Concert Board worked with an agency that gave them a list of touring artists, from which they selected Waka Flocka Flame, she said.
“We definitely wanted to do a hip-hop artist, and we thought that he’d be really fun and he was touring, so it kind of just worked out,” Kanigher said.
Austin said Concert Board posted a survey to Facebook asking what music genre students would be interested in for Fall Fest. After receiving between 400 and 600 responses, she said hip-hop was the clear choice.
“We hadn’t had a hip-hop headliner for Spring Fling for the past two years, which I know is a thing people are interested in, so we wanted to offer that this semester,” Austin said.
According to Mitchell, many students seemed pleasantly surprised by the selection of Waka Flocka Flame for Fall Fest.
“People have been really blindsided by it in a good way, which was kind of our plan,” he said. “It definitely took people by surprise because they’re used to not having heard of the fall artist at all, so it’s usually an afterthought.”
Austin agreed that the response has been overwhelmingly positive.
“I’ve only seen positive reactions which I’m really happy about. Concert Board gets a lot of crap for a lot of decisions they make,” she said. “We’re really excited people are responding positively.”