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Bands Selected for Spring Weekend

The Roots, Blues Traveller Chosen for Show Based on Results of Online Survey

By A.S. Wang

The Johnson Athletic Center will play host to the famous pop band Blues Traveller and the hip-hop band The Roots on Friday, April 27.

The concert is the main event of MIT’s Spring Weekend.

“It is essentially a double bill,” said Sonia Garg ’02, Spring Concert co-chair.

This year’s Spring Weekend activities are made possible by a dramatic increase in funding compared to previous years. Most of this funding has been provided by the Undergraduate Association and Graduate Student Council.

In addition to the star-studded concert line-up, Spring Weekend will include new activities such as the “Odyssey Ball” and the revival of some old traditions, such as the “Mr. MIT” pageant.

Spring Weekend is bound to attract “a much larger audience and hopes to bring together the entire MIT campus,” said Satwiksai Seshasai ’01, chair of the 2001 Spring Weekend Committee.

Bands reflect student preferences

Using an on-line poll released in December that surveyed the music preferences of over 800 MIT students, the Spring Weekend Committee has put together a show that is consistent with what MIT students requested: hip-hop and rock music.

“We have been able to put together a truly diverse show that best fits MIT students’ preferences,” said Spring Weekend Concert Co-chair Cliff H. Hodges ’02.

The concert is going to open with Pru, a female hip-hop vocalist who travels with The Roots. Afterwards, both Blues Traveller and the Roots will each put on a full show before the night is out.

Blues Traveller is releasing a new album called Bridge on May 8. Garg hopes that cuts from their new album will be performed during the concert.

The Roots, last year’s Grammy winner in the category of Best Rap Performance by a Duo or Group for You got me, is also famous for this year’s chart-topping songs Glitches and Caravan. Their seventh album is scheduled to be released by the end of the year.

ID card can be used to buy tickets

Tickets for the concert will go on sale this Wednesday and may be purchased with the MIT Card at the Source or at the Coffeehouse.

“There has long been a significant move towards expanding the use of the [MIT] card,” Seshasai said. “And this makes the concert more accessible to students.”

Seshasai also added that off-campus participation is expected to increase this year’s concert attendance.

“As a senior and in my second year planing the Spring Weekend event, I expect this year’s Spring Weekend to attract not only a large MIT attendance but also a very significant off campus participation,” said Seshasai.

Even though the concert this year is costing over 50 percent more than that of last year, Garg and Hodges said that the ticket price remains at $7 for MIT students and $12 for non-students.

Old and new events on schedule

Students may expect to find at this year’s Spring Weekend traditional events such as the AXO Lip Sync, which kicks off the weekend on Thursday. The I-Fair and the Spring Concert will both be held on Friday. On Saturday, the Kresge Kickback will take place at the Kresge barbeque pits from noon until 2 p.m. It is an outdoor concert featuring local bands, and a free lunch will also be provided to the public.

“We are expecting popular-name vendors to sponsor the event, as well as hand out free stuff,” Seshasai said.

This year’s Spring Weekend will also include a resurrected MIT tradition: the Mr. MIT pageant.

“Alpha Tau Omega and the Spring Committee are joint sponsors of this event,” Hodges said. “We encourage all living groups to sponsor a nominee and help raise funds for this charity event.”

The candidates of the pageant will compete in “talent, casual/formal wear and swimsuit competitions” to determine the “most talented, personable, crowd pleasing individual on campus.”

The last event of the weekend, the “2001 Odyssey Ball,” is the first of its kind.

The Ball “is a joint effort of the President’s office and the Spring Committee,” Garg said.

This event, inspired by the Millennium Ball, will take place outdoors under a large tent in front of Kresge and will offer desserts served under a “galactic theme.”

More information about Spring Weekend events can be found at <http://web.mit.edu/spring/www>.

Volunteers needed

With the festivities of Spring Weekend fast approaching, Garg, Hodges and Seshasai are all anxious to find volunteers to help make the event a success.

“We welcome individuals, living groups or organizations to volunteer for events throughout the whole weekend,” said Seshasai.

Not only will volunteers have a chance to take part in the planning and help set up the event, but they will also be able to take part in the festivities.

“Volunteers for the concert will not have to pay for the ticket,” said Garg.

Anyone interested in volunteering for the event can visit the Spring Weekend website’s volunteer section for further details or e-mail