Madison White

After much anticipation, the Whittfest Concert Committee (CC) proudly revealed that T-Pain will be performing at Whittier College on Friday, April 7.  

Following a week long “guess-who” contest, the long-awaited Whittfest headliner has been announced. CC posted cut-outs around campus of A-List celebrities, like Lil Wayne and DJ Khaled, who have collaborated with Whittfest’s main act.  

The big reveal is only the beginning of Whittfest promotion. Students can expect ticket giveaways, spirit events, and even signed flyers from T-Pain himself. Possible future events include an open mic night with K-Poet, Program Board karaoke night, and a battle of the bands contest. Mula Gang will be opening for T-Pain, but a battle of the bands contest will take place to determine what local act will perform before them.

The CC hopes T-Pain’s diverse fanbase will draw a large crowd. Student attendance is projected at about 1,000 people. The goal is to fill additional seats with guests, faculty, administration, and alumni. The concert will be held Friday evening, in hopes that commuter students, as well as faculty and alumni, will be available.

The attendance goal is ambitious, but Whittfest is only possible because of continued student interest and support.  “A lot of other schools have concerts, similar to this, and we wanted to make it happen here,”  said CC member sophomore Keelin Bettridge.

Earlier in the year, a Orgsync poll was used to gauge the level of interest and potential genres of music. The level of interest seen in the results were a strong indicator that a large-scale concert would be successful, leading the committee to begin their selection process.

 Other acts considered include GooGoo Dolls, Plain White-Tees, and Weezer, but the general consensus of the genre survey led the CC to pursue a hip-pop/rap act. “When we were trying to figure out who would headline, we had to take all kinds of things into consideration that we didn’t expect. Like scheduling conflicts, production costs, and the limitations of a small campus like ours,” CC member senior Jazmin Ringgold said. 

T-Pain will be playing in Whittier following his world tour, which ends in February.

Initially, the event was anticipated to be much smaller. “We expected to use the GAC and put the concert on by ourselves, without outside sources,” said Whittfest CC member sophomore Keelin Bettridge. “We figured out pretty quickly, though, that we needed more help to put on the school’s first large-scale concert.” 

 Although CC is independently run, other campus organizations have been involved in the financing and planning process. LEAP, ASWC Senate, WC the Rock, Media Council, and Alumni Relations have all had a hand in ensuring the concert runs smoothly. “Having other organizations here to support us has made this event possible,” Ringgold said, “We all want to create a new Whittier College tradition, something all students can enjoy and feel proud of.”

Whittfest has been a big undertaking for all involved, but the CC is dedicated to putting ona quality production. The concert itself is largely in response to research done last year by Whittier alum Andrew Tejada’s senior project. Results showed that students were more likely to attend a singular, larger event as opposed to several smaller events, like society dances. 

Whittfest will be held April 7 on the College’s football field at 7:30 p.m. Tickets for students are priced at $15, faculty, administration, and alumni tickets are $20. The event is not open to the public, but students are allowed to purchase tickets for guests at $25.