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Updated: GRiZ and Mayer Hawthorne to headline Lawnparties

For the first time, a portion of funds will be allocated to charity

20140407_LawnpartiesAnnouncement_KarenKu_5231Electronic music artist GRiZ and soul musician Mayer Hawthorne will perform at spring Lawnparties, the USG announced with a video presentation in Frist Campus Center’s gallery Monday night.

GRiZ is a Detroit-area musician and producer of electronic music. He has described his musical style as “electro-soul” and mixes urban genres to create a futuristic sound. GRiZ is an up-and-coming artist who has performed in the past at musical festivals such as the Coachella Valley Annual Music and Arts Festival, the Electric Forest Festival and Lollapalooza. GRiZ is famous for his most recent album titled “Rebel Era.”

Mayer Hawthorne is a singer and songwriter from Ann Arbor, Mich. who debuted in 2008 and has since produced hip-hop and soul music. He has worked with celebrities including Bruno Mars and Kendrick Lamar, and is known for his original songs “The Walk” and “Just Ain’t Gonna Work Out,” as well as covers of songs by other artists, including his rendition of “Royals” by Lorde.

“I’m really excited about these two because they’re both up-and-coming, and I think, in a year, they’re going to be really huge, and people are really going to be happy they saw them at Princeton first,” USG social chair Logan Roth ’15 said. “The best part, of course, is that they fit into our budget, that they’re available and that they’re down to come and play.”

Additionally, this year, partial funds from spring Lawnparties will benefit a Newark-based charity called TEAM Charter Schools, Roth said.

USG president Shawon Jackson ’15 said he is looking forward to this year’s event as a chance to bring students together for an entertaining day.

“I’m really excited about the main acts this year,” Jackson said. “What I’m especially excited about is that some of our funds from Lawnparties will be going toward a charity this year.”

The donation money for TEAM Charter Schools will be coming from raffle ticket and merchandise sales.

“No money that would have otherwise been used towards the Lawnparties event is going to be going to charity,” Roth said. “The only money that is being donated is coming from raffle and merchandise sales.”

But many of the students who went to Frist to hear the announcement were unfamiliar with headliners GRiZ and Mayer Hawthorne.

“I saw the first name and said ‘Who?’ and then I was like ‘Okay, they said ‘and,’ so maybe there’s something better, and then they said the name, and I was like ‘Who? I’m sorry what? This is really funny. April Fool’s part two, right? Right? No? No. Wow.’ ” Clarissa Lotson ’16 said. “Yeah that was more or less my reaction. I hope the different artists that the other clubs get are better. Question marks all around.”

Dan Mozley ’17 shared Lotson’s disappointment.

“Shock … not the good kind of shock,” Mozley said. “I’m not pleased. I’m still excited, but I was hoping for a better main event.”

Like Mozley, Hema Lochan ’16 is unfamiliar with both artists but said she thinks they will still put on a great show and is excited for Lawnparties.

On the other hand, Namkyu Oh ’16 said he is a fan and looks forward to hearing the music.

“I don’t know who GRiZ is, but I am a really big fan of Mayer Hawthorne, so in that respect I am definitely really excited,” Oh said.

The USG social committee’s main deciding factors regarding headliners for Lawnparties included price and availability, according to Roth.

“A lot of people think that these decisions are based on connections or something,” Roth said. “Really, what it comes down to is, ‘Are they in our price range?’ and ‘Are they available that day?’ ”

Before choosing GRiZ and Mayer Hawthorne, the USG social committee explored many different options, Roth said.

“We looked at a lot of super high profile people who were in our budget but could not come, and then there were some people that were just too expensive,” Roth said. “I’m still really excited because I think these guys are really cool, and I think students on campus are really going to like [them].”

The USG Lawnparties website, where students can find more information about guest tickets, raffle prizes, tickets and merchandise should be launched within the next couple of days, Roth said.

Lawnparties will take place on May 4.

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