Hello, Ciara Goodbye, Concert

Last year St. John’s held its first “Just Press Play” concert, which successfully
caught student interest and
drew a grand turnout. The performances
at the concert covered various
styles of musical genres, which
attracted a wide audience. The main
attraction was obviously the headliner,
the All-American Rejects,
although the other performers, such
as the Roots and Nina Sky, also contributed
significantly to the great
attendance. Hoping to repeat the
success again this year, the university
planned “Just Press Play II” with
rap artist, Ludacris, as the main
attraction. Yet, just two weeks before
the show, this year’s well-publicized
headliner was cancelled.

Proponents of the show, and
others as well, called the University
on their announcement that the
“Monologues” were too “divisive” to
have on campus while at the same
time inviting a famously controversial
rapper to perform at the spring
concert. Those who brought up this
point were right in doing so, but was
their objective really to get Ludacris
cancelled? It seems more likely that
the aim was to have the University
change its stance on “The Vagina
Monologues.” Nevertheless, the
administration ended negotiations
with Ludacris, and the
“Monologues” are still not being
hosted here.

When Ludacris was officially
dropped from the lineup last week,
the University made a statement saying
that they “are actively exploring
other performing artists to headline.”
Now, only a week before the show is
scheduled to take place, the
University has announced Ludacris’s
replacement: Ciara. This change of
headliner comes a bit late, and some
students might not be willing to
accept the exchange. Many students
were really looking forward to a performance
by Ludacris. To have him
cancelled and then replaced in the
last two weeks leading up to the
spring concert could leave some fans
feeling leftdown.

While Ciara is a big-name
performer, she just does not have the
same appeal as Ludacris. If the
University had started looking for a
headlining act sooner, it may have
been able to schedule a better performer
for a better price.

It is now the week of the concert
and posters advertising the new
headliner are hastily being hung up
around campus. With Ciara as the
heart of the concert this Saturday
instead of Ludacris, it is doubtful
that the show will draw as big a
crowd as Ludacris would have.

The “Just Press Play II” is now
left with two major problems leading
up to the week it is scheduled to take
place. First, there is the factor of students
who are angered by the loss of
Ludacris. Some of the people who
had been planning to buy tickets and
eagerly looking forward to the concert
may have lost their desire to
attend. Secondly, there is the issue
of whether or not Ciara will make up
for the loss of Ludacris. While
adding her to the lineup will restore
some of the variety of last year, her
name will simply not be big enough
to make the ticket price worth it for some students.