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Behind The Scenes: Selecting The Movin’ On 2016 Lineup

Movin’ On is one of the best events the Spring semester has to offer — along with the Blue and White Game, the music festival is one of the few free outdoor activities that students can look forward to as the temperatures begin to rise.

Every year, the outdoor stage lights up with artists ranging from Fall Out Boy, to Wiz Khalifa, to Passion Pit. The Executive Board for Movin’ On tries to bring in acts that appeal to the diverse student body, including rappers that get the crowd bumping and grinding, Pop-Punk bands that students can sing along to, and even the coolest Alternative Electronic performers.

This year is no different. The lineup pulls from different genres and artists that are bound to put on a ground shaking festival. Walk the Moon, Nelly, X Ambassadors, Misterwives and Sammy Adams will bring in students from every sector of the university.

Movin’ On Executive Director Jeremy Book hopes that the lineup this year will continue to appeal to the largest amount of people possible. “I think all [the artists] have something unique to bring to the table,” Book said.

For the executive board, the opinion of the student body is important; every year they go to great lengths to gauge student interest. “Over the summer, the executive board starts compiling a list of names that they think would be a good fit for Movin’ On,” Book said. “Once we get to school in the fall, they compile a survey and put it out.”

The survey gives Penn State students the opportunity to vote for the artists they want to see on the stage the following spring semester. The student body involvement helps the executive board through the process of narrowing down prospective acts.

“This year we had about 4,400 to 4,600 hits on the survey, as opposed to just over 2,000 last year. Which is awesome…the bigger pool gives a better reflection of what students want,” Book said. “The artist selection can take anywhere from September to November to February”

This year’s line up was finalized in late January/early February when Sammy Adams confirmed his performance.

Many of these performers are constants on students’ pregame and party playlists all over campus. Nothing gets girls dancing like “All Night Longer” by Sammy Adams. Even the THON 2016 playlist included “Shut Up and Dance” by Movin’ On headliner Walk the Moon, “Renegades” by X Ambassadors, and “Our Own House” by Misterwives.

While the big names cause most of the anticipation, the Battle of the Bands winner will also prove to be an interesting addition to the line up. “I’m always excited to see [the Battle of the Bands winner] cause I think its really cool that we allow a student band to perform on such a large stage. Not every day can a student say, ‘Oh, I opened up for Walk the Moon,’” voiced Book.

Though the executive board uses a middle agent to get in touch with the headliners, smaller bands often show interest in performing at the festival. “One [band] actually called my house and talked to my mom,” Book said.

But when it comes to business, the Movin’ On executive board keeps their moms out of it and leaves the negotiations up to their middle agent. “[The middle agent] already knows all the bigger agencies and has worked with a lot of them, so he has a really good relationship [with them],” explained Book, “which is, I think, a big factor in how we land such big names.”

When the executive board agrees on a budget allowance for the artists, the middle agent’s negotiations begin. If the board gets lucky, the artists show interest and an agreement is confirmed. But sometimes it doesn’t work out that smoothly.

“If it doesn’t work out, it doesn’t work out,” Book said. “I’d like to say that it has worked out every time, but there were a couple of times this year where it didn’t. But it’s okay, it’s a part of the process.”

Even though some of the negotiations fell through, the line up still contains multiple diverse artists that Penn State students love. This representation of the the student body is one of the major motivations the executive board has for approaching the artists that they do. “The survey gives us an idea of where we want to go with our offers, what genres are big and what aren’t. We try to keep it as diverse as possible,” said Book.

When the executive board was selected, Book told them, “you gotta leave your music tastes at the door. It’s not about you, it’s about Penn State students.” This led Book and the rest of the board to remain as unbiased as possible. “Its important to cater to everyone’s wants and needs. We only have five artists, so [diversity] is something we strive for every year.”

The 2016 Movin’ On line up is a good mix — it features a legend who has been making hits for years like Nelly, and also showcases up and coming acts like X Ambassadors. The range will promise a dynamic crowd of crazed college students ringing in the end of the semester with some of the best songs of the year.

About the Author

Emily Davis

Emily Davis is a writer for Onward State, who is currently a junior majoring in English. She is an avid Spotify enthusiast, occasionally wears colors other than black, and will devour an entire box of Gushers with pleasure. You can easily stalk this rad person on Twitter and Instagram @emily_davis56 or contact her through email at [email protected]


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