University Productions, in partnership with University Athletics, has been working since last semester to bring the Verge Campus Tour to Lehigh this fall. The show, to be held on Thursday, October 16, will be headlined by Chance the Rapper and also feature Los Angeles-based art and music project Young & Sick and pop-meets-R&B artist Sweater Beats.
“Chance was absolutely our first choice performer,” said Ross Camiel, UP music director. “University Productions sensed the high demand for hip-hop on campus, and we know that Chance will fulfill Lehigh’s music desires.”
The Verge Campus Tour has become a bicoastal, semiannual college campus experience since its initial launch in the spring of 2013. The tour was originally started as a launch event for its parent company EMUZE, founded by Brett Segall and Matthew Zotz in 2011 during their senior year at Brandeis University. The original tour was headlined by Kendrick Lamar featuring Steve Aoki and Bad Rabbits and was successful across college campuses.
“Due to the reception of the event and the success of it, we saw that this was something where we can build a very unique experience on college campuses,” Segall said. “Something that really encompasses a full campus takeover: an experience during the day that’s engaging and then flows and transitions into the night.”
Verge Campus Tour differentiates itself from the typical college concert by instituting what they call the “full campus takeover.” The festivities will begin on the STEPS Lawn at 10:30 a.m., where students can participate in contests and games and can listen to acoustic performances by the show’s featured artists. Students will be able to experience first-hand the tour’s Interactive Village.
The Verge Campus Tour brings along representatives from its sponsor companies to set up their own stations, which gives students the opportunity to learn more about the companies and potentially gain internship or career opportunities. In the past, the tour has brought along companies such as Mazda, Reebok and Spotify.
This year, students will have the opportunity to interact with companies such as Karamaloop, the leading online retailer in urban street-wear; Contiki Vacations, the world leader in youth travel experiences; and the creators of MTV’s ‘The Buried Life.’ The Verge Campus Tour itself also looks for students who are passionate about journalism or entrepreneurship to begin a Lehigh chapter of their website Verge.com, which focuses on the next big pop-culture trends on college campuses.
The company refers to the event as a “national collegiate lifestyle music festival.”
“What you’re really getting with the Verge Campus Tour is a huge event, similar to an Ultra or a Coachella for your campus, but it’s really about the students, the music and the experience of getting to do it all with the people that you’re closest to,” Segall said.
When it came to choosing the lineup for this year’s concert, Segall said that the most important thing to focus on was bringing diversity of music styles in conjunction with up-and-coming artists who seem that they’re “on the verge” and just about to “break into the mainstream.”
UP had a similar goal in booking the concert. They were looking to bring something truly huge to Lehigh.
“University Productions always looks to provide great entertainment for the students of Lehigh University,” said Jonathan Densa, ’16, UP president. “Partnering with athletics allowed us to bring one of the biggest upcoming names in hip-hop to Lehigh in recent memory.”
According to UP, several thousand students purchased advance tickets for the event, as well as students from surrounding schools and other public guests. UP hopes the success of such a large event will propel them into even bigger events with bigger names for the spring concert.
“With the hype from Chance, we’ll be able to work towards a bigger and even better Quest 2015 for the spring,” said Rae Ricciardi ’16, UP marketing executive. “It’s pretty exciting.”
The Interactive Village will be on the STEPS Lawn from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and is open to all students regardless of if they have a ticket to the show. Tickets are still available and doors open for the event at 7 p.m. on Thursday. Buses will begin leaving from Grace Hall at 6:30 p.m. and will run to and from Stabler Arena until midnight.