Saturday, May 26, 2018

Behind the Scenes of the 2017 Spring Weekend Release

KATHERINE ROHLOFF ’19

CONTRIBUTING WRITER

Spring Weekend

After 4 months of built-up anticipation, vague hints and a whirlwind of artist rumors, Barnyard Entertainment Activities Council, otherwise known as EAC Barnyard, flooded Facebook and Instagram on Wednesday, March 29 with a camp-themed music video and a cover photo announcing the 2017 Spring Weekend line-up. As Trinity’s own EDM artists, BKAYE and Viceroy were announced as the openers and the Chicago-based EDM duo, Louis the Child, was named as the Headliner, Barnyard simultaneously revealed its new logo. This year’s line-up promises to be not only a different kind of concert experience for Trinity as it partners with production company, GrooveBoston, but also a show that is above and beyond past Spring Weekends – a transition that is expressed in the crisp, modern, dark blue barnyard logo encompassed in a white circle.

To the Trinity student body, releasing the Spring Weekend artists may, as soon as the artists’ contracts are finalized, appear to be a simple feat. However, a Spring Weekend release takes months to plan out. Most may remember the Spring Weekend Artist survey that was sent out in mid-November. It gave students the opportunity to rank their top artists on the list and have a greater say in who they wanted to see at Spring Weekend.

Once the polls closed and the results were counted, Barnyard immediately started planning Spring Weekend’s theme. This year, it only seemed fitting to have a camp-theme. “In considering what Spring Weekend means to Trinity students, we identified the reality that it is one of the few annual events that is designed to bring together the entire student body without concern to class year or organizational involvement. Because of this, we want to celebrate the fact that we are a residential community that has this shared springtime experience. To that end, we settled on a retro summer camp theme because it not only connotes an immediate sense of community bonding, but it also sets a fun, relaxed tone for the entire festival,” said Barnyard President, Griffin Hunt ’17.

After the theme was voted upon, the next step in the release process was to start designing and working with companies to create fun giveaways. This year, Barnyard is giving away retro camp shirts similar to those sported at the beginning of “The Parent Trap”, patch-inspired stickers and concert wristbands. “To promote the consistent branding vision for Spring Weekend 2017, we paid special attention to seemingly minor things, such as our concert wristbands. Instead of uncomfortable stiff plastic wristbands, we ordered gorgeous, custom–printed cloth bands this year. Their quality and the clear attention given to their design will offer students a hint of this year’s drastically overhauled concert experience,” said Hunt. In addition to free camp-themed giveaways, Barnyard also worked to create promotional materials such as posters, cover photos and videos and find decorations for the concert venue that would continue the fluidity of the theme.

However, once these materials have been designed, the process to get them approved can take a long time and includes various stages ranging from The Office of Student Activities, Involvement & Leadership (S.A.I.L.) to the Trinity administration and even to the artists and their agencies. “Because Spring Weekend is such a visible event for Trinity, EAC Barnyard’s advisor, Sarah Lucas, helps to ensure that anything bearing our name or that of the College upholds our institutional values,” said Hunt, “Any promo material (video, poster, Instagram, cover photo) bearing a concert artist’s name, image, or likeness (NIL) needs to be approved by the artist’s agency.” But, as Hunt explains, in order to protect their brand image, the artists’ agencies are strict on how promotors use their artists’ NIL, resulting in an extended process of back and forth between Barnyard and the agencies. “When we send agencies promo materials for review, sometimes they give a thumbs–up, other times they request changes (like making the logo more prominent or reducing surrounding clutter), and sometimes they simply ask that we not release the material. When it comes to NIL, the agencies call the shots and our job as promoters is to make sure that we create the most engaging promotional campaign we can while also respecting the brands of our artists,” said Hunt.

Once the artists’ contracts are signed and all of the promotional material is approved, Barnyard can finally announce the Spring Weekend line-up to the rest of the student body. So far, the release video has over seven-thousand views.

Students can pick up wrist-bands during the week leading up to the Friday, April 21 concert. Everyday that week, those who arrive first to pick up wristbands will receive a souvenir sticker. And, according to Hunt, “the amount [of shirts] we can give out is limited, and I believe that students will find them to be mementos of an amazing Spring Weekend.”

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