On Nov. 27, USC Concerts Committee posted a photo on Facebook, supposedly releasing the lineup for Springfest 2014. But the lineup, which included Justin Bieber, Nickelback, Avril Lavigne and Soulja Boy, was a fake.
Stephanie Aristakesian, executive director of Concerts Committee, said she thought students would realize the lineup wasn’t real.
“The Black Eyed Peas [without will.i.am] and Rebecca Black were mentioned so we hoped people wouldn’t take that seriously and realize we were just joking around,” Aristakesian said.
She said the motive behind this humorous post was the fact that some people were upset that the Concerts Committee brought Jason Derulo, an artist with multiple chart-topping hits, to perform at Conquest.
“Our post is a satire festival lineup and a reference to the fact that it is impossible to make everyone happy when booking artists,” Aristakesian said.
The lineup was in part spurred by a social media post that referred to Jason Derulo as “a joke,” The writer listed some artists who students deem worse than the Conquest performer. Some of these were included in the fake Springfest 2014 post, such as Justin Bieber and Rebecca Black.
“Students don’t realize how much work and time the Concerts Committee [executive] board puts into these shows, so reading negative comments really hurts,” Aristakesian said. “The motive behind the post is simple — we felt attacked by the article and wanted to put out a humorous response. When people are waiting for major festival announcements, fake lineups will surface online.”
The fake lineup post reached more than 4,000 likes and 40 shares on Facebook in the first five days it was posted. Aristakesian said students voiced mixed reactions.
“Some people messaged us hoping Justin Bieber was actually coming to play while others dished out their distaste for the lineup, not realizing the post was a joke,” she said.
Springfest 2014 will be held on Saturday, April 5, the date mentioned on the fake lineup post. No artists, however, have been confirmed as performers. Funding for concerts and other Program Board events comes from the student programming fee attached to each student’s tuition.
“We made the post primarily because we want to know every student’s dream Springfest lineup,” Aristakesian said. “We have artists in mind, but it all depends on budget, artist availability, university approval and the appeal to the student body.”
Concerts Committee meetings for the spring semester will take place on Mondays at 8 p.m. in TCC 227.
“All are welcome, so please come and share your ideas with us about who you want to bring to campus,” Aristakesian said.
Many people said they knew that the post was false and a joke, based on the comments on the picture. Mary Stepanyan, a senior majoring in human development and aging, said that she knew it was fake from the beginning.
“It didn’t seem real at all. I didn’t believe it because of certain artists on there, like Rebecca Black,” Stepanyan said.
Eun Ah Cho, a sophomore majoring in biological sciences, also said she knew it was fake once she saw the post.
“The artists did not make the post seem like it is real,” Cho said. “I also thought it is too early for the Concerts Committee to announce what artists will be featured for Springfest.”
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