Sold-out T-Pain concert rocks W&L community

The General Activities Board made some protocol changes at this year’s winter concert featuring well-known rapper T-Pain


T-Pain performed at the sold-out show in the Pavilion. Photo courtesy of GAB.

Maya Lora

The General Activities Board hosted their annual Fancy Dress kick-off concert Thursday featuring the star from our middle school playlists: T-Pain.

GAB is a student organization that brings quality musicians, comedians and other entertainment to Washington and Lee. The organization tries to ensure a variation of genres in their concerts to appeal to as much of the student body as possible.

T-Pain posed for photos with GAB members. Photo courtesy of GAB.

This year, GAB made a few changes to their usual protocol for the T-Pain concert, starting with booking the artist himself. T-Pain was responsible for his own travel and accommodations.

Another change was that tickets would not be sold at the door this year because it clogs up the entrance. Students wishing to purchase tickets bought them throughout the week before the concert, and there was a limit of four tickets per person. The tickets also came in the form of a wristband, which made the process of entering the Pavilion much more efficient.

GAB predicted ticket sales for T-Pain would be strong from the start. The orga- nization sold 450 shirts in three days and had to do a re-order. Some students even bought up to 30 raffle tickets to get a chance to meet the artist. Tickets were sold out by Thursday, filling the capacity of the Pavilion.

While the sold-out concert was seen as a success for the GAB members, many students were upset that they would not be able to attend the concert. Some students paid up to $50 to buy an original $20 ticket from other students.

GAB board member Asha Campbell, ‘17, measured the success of the T-Pain concert against previous concerts.

“We have not sold this many tickets since Juicy J. my freshman year, so it was honestly just amazing to know that the artist that the GAB board that I lead along with Alex sold as many tickets as that,” Campbell said. “That’s the show everyone measures against.”

Another change GAB made was that the event was held within the Washington and Lee community. Students, law students, faculty and staff were all welcome, but there was a desire to eliminate the Lexington community’s participation.

By limiting the ticket sales to campus, Lee said they were trying to avoid incidents similar to the ones that occurred during the Juicy J. concert her freshman year.

“The crowd got a little out of control, and it wasn’t necessarily W&L students,” Lee said.

She did make it clear that GAB encouraged non-students to come as long as they were in the Washington and Lee community.

Campbell said they even considered requiring a Washington and Lee ID at the door of the concert, but that would’ve been difficult since friends and significant others often come down for the week in preparation for Fancy Dress. The event is meant to be just for college students though, so the board will look into options to improve the process.

Since the winter show is often cold, GAB wants to keep the location indoors for future winter concerts. They are considering requesting Public Safety to have the Fire Safety department re-evaluate the Pavilion’s capacity so more people can go next year though.

GAB’s loose partnership with the Fancy Dress committee to promote both events has made the winter concert their biggest concert of the year.

GAB was satisfied with the event and felt it went smoothly, regardless of the large size of the crowd. The organization said T-Pain was a great artist to work with and seemed enthusiastic about the Washington and Lee gear he received to wear on stage.

Some students complained about how crowded the venue was. But overall, students seemed to enjoy themselves as soon as T-Pain emerged. T-Pain stuck mostly to his old music, which meant everyone could sing, or sometimes scream, along if they knew the lyrics. He also gave the students a sneak peek at his new single, and most learned the lyrics almost immediately.

“T-Pain seemed like he wasn’t just there to get a paycheck,” Cloy Onyango, ’20, said. “He seemed to think that was a performance, and he was going to really perform.”