Iggy Azalea, Walk the Moon to headline homecoming

The University paid $135,000 to book the artists, who will perform Oct. 17 at TCF Bank Stadium.

by Sarah Connor

Rapper Iggy Azalea and indie rock band Walk the Moon will perform at the University of Minnesota’s 2014 homecoming concert, following in the footsteps of big-name artists who have performed at the annual event in recent years.

The “Fancy” singer and the Cincinnati-based four-piece will perform Oct. 17 at TCF Bank Stadium, the University announced Wednesday. General admission tickets will go on sale Sept. 9 at $20 for students and $40 for the public.

Azalea, the headliner, cost the University $100,000, with Walk the Moon’s bill totaling $35,000, according to Assistant Director of Student Activities Erik Dussault. Last year, homecoming headliners Passion Pit and Hoodie Allen cost $155,000 combined, he said.

The University dished out much less in 2012 for artists B.o.B. and Timeflies — $85,000 total.

Booking big names for the annual homecoming concert has been a priority for the University since it implemented the concert in 2010.

The Student Unions and Activities Program Board selected the artists primarily through an online survey in which students could write in their top artist choices, said Ashley Herink, a marketing specialist with the board.

The board also used other factors to make its decision, including artists’ social media popularity in the area and whether they had recently released or planned to release new music near the date of the concert, Herink said.

“People were very excited about Passion Pit because they are a very well-known band, but we got a really great opportunity with Iggy this year in that she’s new and not a lot of people have had an opportunity to see her live yet,” Herink said. “We are really, really excited about it.”

Herink said student feedback on the artists has been overwhelmingly positive so far, noting that SUA’s tweet revealing the performers on Wednesday received about 600 retweets in less than a day.

Marketing junior Charlie Kleiner said he is looking forward to seeing Azalea and was happy to see a big name come to the University’s homecoming.

“I think [Iggy is] someone that’s on the rise and she’s one of the bigger names that we’ve gotten in the past few years,” he said, “so it’s pretty exciting to finally get someone decently big.” 

Azalea’s “Fancy” topped the Billboard’s Hot 100 summer chart, and her song “Black Widow” is currently one of the most popular tracks on the Hot 100 list.

The homecoming performance will be Azalea’s first in the Twin Cities.

Herink said Azalea’s popularity will hopefully bring in a crowd similar in size to last year’s concert.

“Last year, we sold out. We are hoping that happens again,” she said. “But homecoming is always a big thing. It’s one of the highlights of everyone’s week.”