To say that Floralia has grown since its conception 40 years ago would be too big of an understatement to make. Under the careful control of the Student Activities Council (SAC) and a working group composed of volunteer students, faculty and staff, the planning for each successive festival begins almost immediately after the event, and many attendees speak of how it seems to get bigger and better each year. Since the College is celebrating a substantial milestone of its beloved Floralia this year, the hype has been particularly heightened. We’ve all seen previews of the festival throughout the year: artist names slowly released in anticipation of the day in early May. But April 8 gave way to the announcement of all announcements at the Floralia Headliner Release Party. As the countdown to midnight approached, students quickly streamed into the 1941 Room to secure a spot. DJ E@ZY spun a mix of Top 40 as eager attendees filled in the space and watched the projector screen slowly descend the wall behind him. A video montage briefly featured each previously announced act until the grand reveal: Aminé will headline the 40th anniversary of Floralia.
As we neared the date of the much-anticipated release, the student body had patiently awaited the headliner announcement. This year, SAC took a new approach by announcing an artist in the Floralia lineup on its social media accounts every Thursday at 5:30, beginning Feb. 2 with the announcement of soul-pop artist Mike Taylor. The publicity surrounding Floralia has also been expanded through the use of hashtags like “#experiencefloralia” and “#floraliaturns40.” The official release of Aminé brings the lineup to nine diverse performances that will take place throughout the day.
The hip hop artist, best known for his debut single “Caroline,” has made serious waves in the music industry over the past year, shooting to #11 on the Billboard Hot 100 and amassing over 130 million views on YouTube. The 22-year-old Portland rapper has also gained a substantial online following through his self-released EPs and mixtapes on SoundCloud—other popular singles include “Baba” and the recent “REDMERCEDES” released on March 10.
SAC Chair Jeff Celniker ’17 remains confident that Aminé will continue the longstanding tradition of excellent performances at the festival. Celnicker said: “I hope the student body is excited to see the lineup perform this year. We have booked a diverse group of acts and are looking forward to producing a concert that is entertaining from noon to midnight. Floralia has come a long way, and I think the lineup this year shows that.”
Celniker also commented on Aminé’s “unique sound, which separates him from other artists,” an asset he believes will lead to a long and successful career in the industry.
Although the announcement highlights an exciting accomplishment for SAC and the Floralia working group, the work is far from over. The small but dedicated group spends hours allotting appropriate funding, arranging security and preparing the festival area to ensure a seamless event that for many students is a highlight of the year. As small details are currently being finalized, students can expect to receive more information regarding logistics of the festival in the near future. In the meantime, concertgoers are encouraged to dust off their lawn chairs, explore the diverse music of our guests and continue to look forward to a celebration of 40 years of Floralia at Conn.