Juice Jam boosts production value for Sunday’s concert
Sunday’s Juice Jam is a rain-or-shine affair. But University Union concert director Ken Consor is keeping his fingers crossed for shine.
“It’s been cloudy the past few years for the concert,” Consor said. “A clear day would be really nice.”
The concert, featuring electronic dance music disk jockey Calvin Harris and hip-hop artist Childish Gambino as headliners, will be University Union’s highest-selling concert since 2011’s Block Party. That event, featuring Kid Cudi, Nas and Damian Marley, sold 14,463 tickets. Tickets for Sunday’s show sold out Wednesday afternoon, breaking the Juice Jam ticket-sales record.
Juice Jam will open its doors at Skytop Field on South Campus at noon on Sunday, and opening Boston hip-hop group The Dean’s List will perform at 1 p.m. The group has been touring on a college circuit, Consor said.
The Dean’s List’s performance at Syracuse University is the first in a string of dates that will snake around the Northeast. The group put on a concert at the Westcott Theater last October.
The first headliner, Childish Gambino, who released his debut studio album “Camp” in 2011, is slated to go on around 2:30 p.m. After stage changes, Calvin Harris will perform as the last act of the show. The concert will go until 6 p.m.
Childish Gambino is traveling with his backing band and some of his own production while on tour. Most artists perform at Juice Jam as a one-off concert, Consor said, but Childish Gambino is treating the show as a tour stop.
For concertgoers who haven’t gotten a taste of Calvin Harris’ live show, he will serve as the house DJ for MTV’s Video Music Awards on Thursday night. He was also nominated for Best Electronic Dance Music Video for his hit single, “Feel So Close.” Childish Gambino’s “Heartbeat” was nominated for a VMA for Best Hip-Hop Video.
“It’s tough to do outside because the weather up here changes every five minutes,” Consor said. “But we’ve definitely improved the production, especially for Childish Gambino and Calvin Harris. There will be surprises.”
Consor also said this year’s Juice Jam will feature the highest quality production value for the concert in its nine-year history.
Although he plans to keep some elements a surprise and stayed tight-lipped about specifics, the LED screens at the show will play a bigger role. The production improvements will build on last year’s Block Party featuring EDM artist Kaskade, Consor said.
“The timing of the awards is cool, and I’m rooting for both of them to bring home awards,” Consor said. “If students want a preview of how Calvin Harris performs, they just have to turn on the TV.”
Sara Shivani can’t wait to see Childish Gambino’s performance.
“I really do love all the acts, but I’m a Gambino girl at heart,” said Shivani, a freshman international relations and anthropology dual major.
Though the show will be Shivani’s first Juice Jam concert, she was happy that the concert’s lineup represented more than one genre. She was excited to find out the rapper and Harris would be performing on campus.
The concert also coincides with another important even for Shivani — her 18th birthday.
Said Shivani: “It will definitely be one to remember.”
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