News and Analysis

Tuesday, Aug. 21, 2012 4:41 p.m.

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.

  • headphonesalwayson

    More djs? Not really my thing. Haven’t been to a Fall Fest yet since nothing interests me. Hopefully next year when I’m a senior I will like the band (if PB gets a band instead of a DJ or rapper).

  • Anonymous

    They got Diplo as soon as I graduated!? Big ups to GW for this choice! Mad props!!

  • dbonessi

    What happened to actual bands and performers? If we can get Train to play at Colonials Weekend, we should be able to get a big name to play at Fall Fest.

  • Johnny Hamamasticks

    What time will they actually take stage?

  • GDubBro

    @dbonessi Fuck Train. That shit was cool when I was getting handjobs back in the 5th grade. Diplo is where it’s at. We’re in college. Go listen to your Train CDs when you’re a post-grad.

    By the way, have you met my friend Molly?

  • Train, really?

    I’m 20 years out of GW, and wouldn’t get caught dead listening to that crap. Students really listen to that shit? Ugh.

  • Julian

    this is sooo poorly written..jeez…you got like most of your facts about diplo wrong

  • pwedz

    1) Diplo is not a mash-up artist
    2) Diplo is based in LA – hasn’t been Philly-based for years.
    3) US & Japan what ?? try internationally
    4) Please tell me you aren’t a journalism major..

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