Flo Rida, a hip-hop artist, performed at the 25th reunion tent in Whitman College on Thursday night, a concert that was initially restricted to Class of 1989 guests but was eventually opened to all Reunions attendees.
The decision to open up the concert was a “class decision,” according to a source familiar with the situation.
Multiple members of the Class of 1989 told The Daily Princetonian earlier on Thursday evening that Flo Rida was expected to perform.
The concert took place on early in the Reunions schedule, on a day when most attendees have yet to arrive on campus. Entertainment chair for the 25th reunion Stephen Consentino ’89 explained that this was due to the artist’s schedule, who was unavailable any other day.
One of Flo Rida’s most famous songs is “Low,” featuring T-Pain, which became popular around 2008. T-Pain performed at Lawnparties this past fall.
Famous artists are no strangers to 25th reunion celebrations. Bon Jovi came to the University to perform at the 25th reunion two years ago and the Beach Boys performed there three years ago. Last year, however, there was no popular artist at the 25th reunion tent although a Neil Diamond impersonator at the 50th tent fooled thousands of alumni and students.
“I thought it was a great performance, but I was surprised that the 25th decided to have him considering that they have kids that are older than Flo Rida,” Ryan Cody ’15 said. “If you heard the alums, they were like, ‘Oh Florida is coming to perform.’”
When the Class of 1989 graduated from Princeton, Flo Rida was ten years old.
Consentino said a classmate donated the money to book a musical performer and suggested Flo Rida in April. He was booked in early May without much discussion.
“If you’re going to foot a rather large bill to have someone like that perform there, I guess you get to pick who it is,” Consentino said.
He declined to identify the classmate who donated the money, deferring comment to Reunions chairs Lisa Washington ’89 and Christie Coates ’89, who could not be reached for comment.
Consentino said that Flo Rida’s performance was kept secret for security reasons because the University usually does not want to publicize high-profile names in advance. Flo Rida was not promoted in any printed materials because they were printed before he was booked.
Consentino said he wished that the crowd might have mixed more, rather than just being young people who were waiting to see Flo Rida at the front.
“When everyone came in, it got a little scary at the front,” Consentino said. “People got a little wild. There was pushing and dancing and moving around, and it got a little crazy, but it was still really fun. Everyone really enjoyed it.”
Alumni and current students also said they enjoyed the performance.
Shannon Smith Reynolds ’89 said she was familiar with Flo Rida because her teenage sons listen to his music. She added that her classmates also enjoyed the performance.
“There were friends, classmates, who didn’t know who he was prior to his performance and were maybe skeptical of his performance but afterward said they were very happily surprised and had a great time,” Reynolds said.
Reynolds said that the crowd was a good size, not too crowded or empty, with members of many different classes present.
“The energy was really great; everyone was pumped up,” Susan Glockner ’85 said. “I think it was one of the best performances. I didn’t know who they were, but once they started performing, I realized I actually knew a lot of the songs they were performing.”