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Sugar Ray Selected to Perform At Annual MIT Spring Concert

By Dan Cho

The MIT Spring Weekend Committee announced Wednesday that they are negotiating with the band Sugar Ray to perform at the Spring Weekend concert on Friday, April 26.

Committee member Daniel B. Jonas ’02 stressed that a contract with the band had not yet been signed as of last night. However, they are confident that Sugar Ray will perform at the annual concert, held this year.

“Historically, the duration of contract negotiation is somewhat unpredictable, but we’re hoping for an easy negotiation and to get this wrapped up in the next couple of weeks,” said Devdoot Majumdar ’04, a member of the committee.

Carise Yatter, head of tour publicity for Atlantic Records, confirmed that the band plans to play at MIT on April 26. The MIT concert has also been added to Sugar Ray’s tour schedule on the band’s Web site.

Students praise, pan Sugar Ray

Student reactions to the choice of band have been mixed.

“I say boo,” said Jeffrey D. Leblanc ’03.

“I think Sugar Ray is the best,” said Dan Relihan ’04.

“I’ve heard some of their songs,” said Gregory C. Townsend ’02. “They’re not terrible.”

Other students, however, are impressed that MIT will be hosting such a big name band at the Spring Weekend concert.

“I think a lot of people would actually think it’s exciting,” said Eric Leung ’03.

Other weekend events undecided

Plans for the other Spring Weekend events have not been finalized. “The concert, because it’s a national act, has to be done way in advance,” said Linda D. Noel, program coordinator for student activities and advisor to the Spring Weekend Committee. Noel said that detailed plans for the remainder of the weekend should be in place within the next few weeks.

However, students can expect some of the same traditional events which are held every year. The International Students Association will hold its I-Fair on Kresge Oval on Friday, April 25. The Alpha Chi Omega sorority will also hold it’s annual Lip Sync concert.

One notable absence from the list of this year’s planned events is the Odyssey Ball, which was held for the first time last year on Kresge Oval.

Students choose rock band

The Spring Weekend Committee collected input from students to select a band for this year’s concert. An online poll conducted in December revealed that rock was the most favored genre for the Spring Weekend performance. The committee sought to book the most nationally-prominent band that budget and scheduling would allow.

“If we do get Sugar Ray, it will be quite a first at MIT,” Jonas said. “I am extremely excited.”

Artists featured in previous Spring Weekend concerts include The Roots, Blues Traveler, They Might Be Giants, and Busta Rhymes.

Sugar Ray is a multi-platinum band whose music is described by the media as “alternative rock” with reggae and ska influences. Popular songs of the group include “Fly,” “Every Morning,” and “Someday.” Yatter said that the band will be touring several colleges this spring, leading up to a headline tour in the summer.

Committee seeking opening act

An opening act for the Spring Weekend concert has not yet been named. “I think at this point we are keeping our options open; a lot of different artists would nicely complement Sugar Ray,” Jonas said

Because negotiations are still in progress, Majumdar and Jonas could not comment on the total cost of this year’s concert. The UA and GSC have allocated a total of $37,000 for this year’s Spring Weekend festivities. The Dormitory Council will also contribute $10,000. Other sponsors include the office of the Dean for Student Life, weekends@mit, and various student groups. Jonas said he was unsure at this time whether concert ticket prices would be higher than last year.

The concert will be held in Johnson Athletic Center this year. The Spring Weekend Committee is requesting volunteers to help with publicity, concert security, logistics and other tasks. Anyone wishing to volunteer should e-mail spring02-request@mit.edu.