Throughout my three years here at UC Santa Barbara, I have seen A.S. Program Board bring in a variety of performers to entertain students for various occasions. I have noticed a recurring trend regarding the genres of these concerts: if the first concert in the year is a rap artist, then the next one will be a heavy EDM-based concert. The concerts appear to alternate between those two genres, consistently leaving out other, less mainstream genres.
When the school’s biggest concert event, Extravaganza, took place on Sunday, a new line-up was revealed earlier in the week that demonstrated the alternating genre trend. A.S. Program Board was able to book popular artists Playboi Carti and Amine as headliners, as well as Deorro, Empress Of, Peach Pit, and student DJ, Miibu.
This year’s mixed showcase of EDM, rap, and indie genres made me think about the repercussions of primarily sticking to only two genres for every concert held by AS Program Board.
While EDM and rap are well-liked genres throughout the student body, setting up the concerts in this way excludes a segment of the student population that prefers one genre to another, along with those who don’t prefer either.
A popular post on UC Santa Barbara’s meme page, UCSB Zesty Meme Cuisine for Horny Teens, expressed disappointment in this year’s line-up through a meme with pictures of sad people accompanied by the caption, “When you’ve been waiting for Extravaganza the entire year and this is what they give you.”
It is a difficult task to find one artist that every student can take a liking to, but it would be easier to find more inclusion within the smaller opening artists. While the addition of indie band Peach Pit does add some genre-deviation to this year’s line-up, I would have liked to see more opening artists of other genres that are not typically represented amongst the concerts at UC Santa Barbara.
“I was really surprised that AS Program Board chose Peach Pit. I found them a while back and liked their music but I never thought I would see them in concert, especially not at Extravaganza,” said third year psychology and brain sciences major, Genevieve Gibson in an interview with The Bottom Line.
Even though students appreciate the small genre switch-up in this year’s line-up, the shock that students express when a rap or EDM artist isn’t booked shows that the school isn’t very inclusive of other genres.
I have never seen this school host a concert including any artists from genres such as country, rock, or metal. While the following of these genres may be smaller among the students at UC Santa Barbara, there is still a large pool of students who would love to see the school bring in some of those artists.
Senior communication major, Beth Isensee, had hoped that A.S. would expand its repertoire by bringing a country artist to the school. In an interview with The Bottom Line, she explained that “Country is a fairly popular genre with a lot of students at UCSB and I just think it’s interesting that there’s never been a country artist.”
Despite the lack of inclusivity of other genres at concerts hosted by the school, AS Program Board always makes sure to get artists that will get students hyped up. Extravaganza will always be a lively, popular event because it is a full day of music at no cost to students. The addition of artists from a diverse pool of genres would just reach a larger audience and enable more students to see performers of their preferred music taste.