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Skrillex, Mac Miller lead dubstep, rap concert at Ohio State

Lantern file photo

It’s no secret that a construction site is at almost every turn on campus, and not only do they block students’ walks to class, but it has created a tough challenge for planning this year’s Big Free Concert, sponsored by the Ohio Union Activities Board.

Despite concerns that the South Oval construction would interfere with the concert featuring the DJ Skrillex and rapper Mac Miller, scheduled for 6 p.m. May 12, the show will continue on as planned, said OUAB concerts chair Courtney Chow.

“In general, construction on campus was a factor in planning Big Free Concert,” Chow said in an email. “Our goal was to host a large outdoor concert in a central location on campus for students to enjoy, and after considering many different areas, we felt the South Oval was extremely accommodating to our needs and will provide a great concert environment for the show and for the student experience.”

The concert stage will be set up on the opposite end of the lawn from the construction, behind Enarson Hall and facing north toward the Oval between Mirror Lake and the construction area. The construction will not be an issue, Chow said.

“We know people are concerned about this site because it’s new,” Chow said in the email. “After creative and careful planning, we are excited about trying this new space and are confident it will give students a new, close and exciting concert experience.”

A $10.3 million project, which has since gone over budget, to install geothermal wells underground in the South Oval to heat and cool the South Campus area is slated to be complete October 2013, according to a Jan. 18 article in The Lantern.

The event will not be ticketed but students must be prepared to show their BuckID upon arrival as it is for Ohio State students only.

Carter Smith, a third-year in accounting, said he thinks Skrillex and Miller will appeal to many students.

“A lot of people know Mac Miller and Skrillex,” Smith said. “I think a lot of people dig that.”

Renae Acker, a first-year in engineering, said she wasn’t very excited about attending this spring’s concert, as she’s “not the biggest dubstep fan.”

“I’m kind of glad I don’t live on South Campus so I don’t have to listen to it, actually,” Acker said. “I might go just to go, though. It’s better than Smash Mouth, like they had last time. I heard that they were pretty awful, but I heard Skrillex was actually a good performer, so I’m sure he’s going to put on a good show.”

Acker also expressed concern over the construction taking place on the South Oval, doubting OUAB’s ability to fit the concert in the lawn’s little remaining space.

“I feel like with Skrillex there are going to be a lot of people, so I don’t know if it’s going to work,” Acker said. “I think they should find somewhere else to have it.”

Connor Daugherty, a first-year in exercise science, also acknowledged that it will be tough to fit the stage and crowd around the construction, but has faith OUAB will pull off the event.

“I’m sure they’ll find a way to do it,” he said.

Brian Holmes, a fourth-year in political science, said he wasn’t very familiar with Skrillex’s music or dubstep in general, but thought the idea to feature a DJ for this spring’s free concert is “different and kind of cool.”

“I think it’s interesting having someone like Skrillex perform,” Holmes said. “It shows that dubstep, and DJs as an artist form, is becoming more popular. I think it’s an interesting change of pace.”

As far as going to the concert, Holmes said the South Oval construction would not factor into his decision to attend, and that his decision is more a function of whether he’s interested or has other plans.

Skrillex, whose real name is Sonny John Moore, is an electronic dance music artist and DJ. He is often associated with dubstep, an electronic genre known for its hard bass lines, which has seen a sharp rise in popularity over the last three years.

After leaving hardcore act From First To Last in 2007 to pursue a solo career, he went on to gain notoriety for his 2010 EP, “Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites.” It helped him garner five nominations at the 54th Grammy Awards Feb. 12, at which he won three Grammys for Best Dance Recording, Best Dance-Electronica Album and Best Remixed Recording.

He was also nominated for Best New Artist, but lost to Bon Iver.

Mac Miller, whose real name is Malcolm McCormick, is an up-and-coming rapper from Pittsburgh. His first studio album, “Blue Side Park,” was released in November and debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart.

Miller, who was originally a member of rap group The Ill Spoken, signed with Rostrum Records in 2010 and went on to work with artists such as Wiz Khalifa. He released his most recent mixtape, “Macadelic,” March 23.  


Sarah Pfledderer contributed to this story.

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