DJ Diplo to headline Fall Fest

DJ Diplo. Photo courtesy Howigotover92 under Creative Commons License.

Updated Aug. 21, 2012 at 4:58 p.m.

This post was written by Hatchet reporter Kaya Yurieff

DJ Diplo will bump beats and fuse genres at this year’s Fall Fest.

The Philadelphia-based mash-up artist is the second DJ in a row to be tapped to headline the fall performance for students, Program Board confirmed Tuesday. As Diplo – an alias inspired by the dinosaur Diplocodus – Thomas Wesley Pentz has been meshing beats for nearly a decade across the U.S. and Japan.

Opening for Diplo is a Virginia group called RDGLDGRN, which was picked for its similar “DJ and electric hardness” theme, said Lauren Shenfeld, executive chair of Program Board.

“GW kids are getting a big headliner, but also a really great performance from a group that’s up and coming,” Shenfeld said. “We hope that in a few years from now GW kids can say ‘we saw them before they were even big.’”

Diplo, a producer, songwriter and performer, is best known for his musical melees of big names like Beyoncé, Usher, No Doubt and M.I.A. – his R&B artist ex-girlfriend who helped him break into the industry.

He is also part of the DJ group Major Lazer – which signed with his record label in 2009 – and performed at popular music festivals like Bonnaroo and Coachella this year.

Mash-up artist Girl Talk electrified the crowd at last year’s Fall Fest, a vibrant show that Shenfeld hopes to repeat with another DJ performance this year.

Fall Fest will kick off at 4 p.m. on Sept. 1 in University Yard. The theme of this year’s event – “In This Town, We Play to Win!” – comes from a slogan the University is using as part of its new rebranding campaign.

The show is free for students, but the performance cost Program Board $42,500 this year, according to contracts obtained by The Hatchet. The costs of bringing performers to campus for Fall Fest has not been released since 2008, when the University backed out of a $15,000 contract with Girl Talk because of student safety concerns.

Shenfeld disputed the contract cost but declined to provide a total.

“It’s a high profile, high expense event, but we’re really thankful for the co-sponsorships that we get… We’re lucky to be financially supported the way we are,” Shenfeld added.

As in past years, Fall Fest will include free food and giveaways and attractions like dunk tanks and gladiator jousting challenges.

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