A collaboration between the Slope Day Programming Board, the Cornell Concert Commission, and MCFAB will bring Cornellians a virtual music festival experience to celebrate the end of the academic year. Originally scheduled for May 6, the Slope Day was canceled when Cornell halted in-person operations back in March due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Slope Day Programming Board announced Thursday that Swae Lee, A Boogie Wit da Hoodie, Rico Nasty, and Matoma will headline a two-night virtual musical festival event on May 14-15. WVBR News had the chance to chat with SDPB Executive Director Alana Udwin and Artists Relations and Selections Director Logan Altheim to discuss the evolution of this year’s event, headliners, and what the virtual concert means to the Cornell community at the end of the spring semester.
Swae Lee is the most well-known headliner, widely-known for his song “Sunflower,” from the Spiderman: Into the Spider-Verse soundtrack, and was featured on “Unforgettable,” by French Montana.
Up-and-comer Rico Nasty was originally booked by the Cornell Concert Commission, having performed at Coachella in 2019. A Boogie Wit da Hoodie released the album Hoodie SZN in 2018, and it topped the Billboard 200 chart later that year. Norwegian DJ Matoma, best known for his mix of “All Night” by the Vamps, rounds out the lineup.
Swae Lee and Rico Nasty will stream live performances on Thursday, May 14, and A Boogie Wit da Hoodie and Matoma will perform on Friday night. Performances on both nights and will be available on the SDPB website, slopeday.cornell.edu. All Cornellians with a net-ID will be able to watch the performances, including alumni. Udwin encourages viewers to chat with friends over platforms like Zoom, Skype, FaceTime, and Houseparty during the performances to celebrate the end of the semester together.
Udwin is glad to bring some good news to the Cornell Community during a challenging period, and says she is excited to dance and celebrate with friends over FaceTime. Artists are excited about the arrangement as well, which gives them an opportunity to connect with fans while in quarantine, according to Altheim.
Altheim noted that he originally hoped the outdoor concert could be moved to the fall semester when students returned to campus, but as social distancing measures remain in place for most of the country and New York State, the chances of a fall rescheduling seemed slim. Coordinating a virtual event with Cornell Concert Commission and MCFAB seemed to be the next best option, he said, and artists were flexible and cooperative with rescheduling. Cornell IT Support and university administration have been flexible and supportive of the redesign as well, according to Udwin. Udwin also mentioned that she’s enjoyed working with other students from the Cornell Concert Commission and MCFAB to bring a variety of sounds to the festival.
Udwin is also a senior and highlighted the value of good news during a trying time:
“We hope to lift everyone’s spirits by providing an end-of-the-year celebration and virtual concert experience that the Cornell community can enjoy from home while practicing social distancing to help flatten the curve.”
Though Cornellians will not be together physically for the remainder of the semester, the virtual continuation of the spring music festival will strengthen the sense of community and provide a welcome distraction from impending finals.