(Written by University of Findlay Pulse reporter, Dylan Frazier. Story originally published on July 24, 2020).
In the first of what Student Government Association (SGA) hopes is two artist announcements, today SGA is proudly announcing that hip hop and R&B artist, T-Pain, will be coming to UF to co-headlining the Findlay Music Festival. Olunife Akinmolayan, the president of SGA, says that T-Pain was an easy choice for them since his music resonated with so many students.
“Earlier in the year, we sent out a survey about different artists and some of those were just to feel out what genre students would go along with,” said Akinmolayan. “But T-Pain is a great artist because he has a lot of music, his discography is very diverse and he still very respected in the musical industry. He also has a way to connect with different demographics and that’s why we also went with him.”
The process of making this festival has been something Akinmolayan has been thinking about for about a year now. When he took over as SGA President, he wanted to make something that students would remember for the rest of their lives and he is hopeful that this festival does just that.
“This [the festival] started as a vision for me, last academic school year, so that would have [to] be since April of last year is when I started thinking this was something we could do,” said Akinmolayan. “I think at the end of the day, [the festival is meant] to create a memorable experience for all students on the University of Findlay campus. I want it to be something we can share a memory with and something unique to our school.”
The last time UF hosted a concert of this magnitude was four years ago when Jason Derulo came to perform on campus. Unfortunately for SGA, the concert did not do very well financially. However, Akinmolayan is confident that this will not only be successful for SGA but also all parties involved. For him, the preparation is what will make this difference in the two events and their level of success.
“The thing that sets us differently and the way I am approaching is that we are starting much earlier [than SGA did for Derulo] when it comes to planning this event,” said Akinmolayan. “The buildup to it [the concert] is much longer [than Derulo was]. We’ve been letting people know that this is coming since December. And the way we are allocating funds is going to be more effective because our marketing strategy is more diverse.”
To be more diverse in their planning of the festival, Akinmolayan is wanting to make this not only a UF event but a Findlay-wide event.
“We’re trying to do our best to make it’s a great process [for everyone]. I met with the Mayor of Findlay [Christina Muryn] today [and] she is very open to the idea of having a concert and event that is impact for not only students but for Findlay,” said Akinmolayan. “She’s been very helpful with ideas and different avenues to make this event successful.”
Along with T-Pain, SGA will soon be announcing its next musician to co-headline the event. Akinmolayan says that they are hoping to secure the artist soon, but it has been a little harder than T-Pain mostly because they want to make sure that the other artist is not of the same genre.
“T-Pain is more of a hip hop, that kind of lane, and now we are looking at someone in the pop genre or a different genre. That way we can appease to different students,” said Akinmolayan.
The Findlay Music Festival will take place on April 4, 2020, at the University of Findlay Intramural Field & FRC. Student Tickets will be $25, students can purchase two tickets at this price, and tickets for the general public will cost $40. Tickets will go on sale Feb. 3. For more information and updates about the music festival, follow @findlaymusicfestival on Instagram and @fmfestival on Twitter.