A meme on the Facebook event page for Cougfest 2012 reads, “Lesson one: Only trust people with big butts … They cannot lie.”
According to the Facebook page, more than 550 people (and counting) plan to attend WSU Student Entertainment Board’s annual concert, which will feature Sir Mix-A-Lot of 1990s big butt fame, along with three breakout artists.
Cougfest is funded in a large part by mandatory Services and Activities fees, which help fund Cougar Athletics, Multicultural Student Services, University Recreation and The Daily Evergreen. Of the $512 each undergraduate paid last year in S&A fees, about 68 cents per person was allocated to SEB’s $13,000 Cougfest budget.
So while the concert is not exactly free, as the event’s Facebook page states, 68 cents is considerably less than the $12 local venue the BellTower usually charges for shows.
This year’s Cougfest will be held on Wednesday, August 22 on the Glenn Terrell Mall and Library Road. The daytime part of the festival will include music, a student involvement fair, a rock wall, inflatables and free food. The artists will begin their sets at 7 p.m.
SEB Director Brian Logan said choosing the Cougfest lineup is always difficult due to the wide range of students’ taste in music. No matter which artists the board chooses, some people are always going to be unhappy with the lineup, he said.
SEB’s concert committee first picks candidates within their price range. Logan called this year’s Cougfest budget “extremely small.”
Then SEB solicits sponsorship from campus groups and local and national businesses. This year’s sponsors include Coug Parents, ASWSU, Greek organizations, New Student Programs and U.S. Bank.
Based on the artists within their price range, SEB develops a survey to find out which artists students would prefer. This year’s choice has spawned some dissent, but Logan said the lineup is based on the survey results.
“The reality is, most people don’t care all that much until the decision’s already been made, and then they’ll start complaining about it,” he said. “In the past for our concerts, we’ve had overwhelmingly positive support.”
Karsten McIntosh, SEB’s concerts programmer, said while the entertainment board had many artists on its radar for Cougfest, the board chose the lineup to ensure its appeal to the largest amount of people possible.
Sir Mix-A-Lot is a legend, and the openers - Hoodie Allen, Fresh Espresso and dj100proof - are all making waves in the music scene, McIntosh said.
“Sir Mix-A-Lot is truly an artist that is timeless and that most people, regardless of what genre of music they are into, can enjoy,” he said. “We are honored to have him - especially since he doesn't do very many shows anymore.”
Sir Mix-a-Lot's hit songs include the "Posse on Broadway," "Jump On It" and the Grammy-winning "Baby Got Back."
The opening acts are known for blending genres - before getting “sprung” on big butts, concert-goers will hear everything from indie and rock to rhythm-and-bass electronic dance fusion, McIntosh said.
“Cougfest 2012 is going to truly be a night to remember,” he said.
And for those who complain SEB brings in only hip hop acts, McIntosh said last year SEB hosted rock, soul and electronic shows, in addition to two hip hop acts. SEB also had a country show lined up, but the artist bailed, he said.
Chris Williams, a senior history major, said he is disappointed in SEB’s choice to go with Sir Mix-A-Lot.
“That’s the big butts guy, right?” he asked. “He was a one-hit wonder from the early 90s and he’s no longer relevant.”
Williams voted for the ska punk band Reel Big Fish in SEB’s survey, he said. He thought they would have appealed more to students.
Williams has attended Cougfests in the past, and he really enjoyed the pop rock/electronica band White Tie Affair, he said. He said he probably won’t go if the set stays the same.
“It depends on whether I’m sleepy that day, or if I have a good meal planned,” he said.
Adrian Gonzales, ASWSU Director of Student Success, said he is very pleased with the lineup - he even voted for Sir Mix-A-Lot in SEB’s survey.
“I think it’s great, actually,” he said. “‘Jump on it’ brings back really good memories.”
Gonzales said the concert is well-worth the small fee. Those complaining about the lineup should get on the entertainment board or write SEB a letter, he said.
“I don’t think it’s an issue,” he said. “Sixty-eight cents is not that much.”
For more details or for links to the artists’ videos, visit: https://www.facebook.com/events/251845678260414/
Update on 7.12.2012 at 11:01 p.m.: Added information regarding Sir Mix-a-Lot's singles.