Wyclef Jean concert sees only 1,500 students on 4/20

This year’s 4/20 celebration was marked with an increase in security, a closed campus and a Wyclef Jean concert that showed little attendance from the student population.

CUSG and Program Council sponsored a free concert performed by hip-hop artist Wyclef Jean, held in the Coors Event Center, with open doors from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Despite the headliner and variety of popular artists, only 1,500 students came to the concert.

Wyclef Jean preforms his final song "Carnival" at the 4/20 concert with half of the crowd on stage. (CU Independent/Andrew Kaczmarek)

Ellie Falletta, a 19-year-old sophomore molecular, cellular and developmental biology and geography major, said that she had a good time at the concert, but that it would have been more fun if there was a larger crowd.

“It was a lot of fun, it’s too bad that more people didn’t come,” Falletta said. “It was a great concert.”

Falletta said that she thought the money spent for the concert was excessive for the amount of people that came.

“I think it was appalling how much money was spent on the concert, they could have done something a lot cheaper,” Falletta said.

The concert cost $150,000 in total and was paid for by CUSG. Wyclef Jean received $80,000 for his performance, in accordance with his contract with CUSG.

“I thought the concert was awesome and a lot of fun, but it could have been somewhere more cost effective like outside, especially for the amount of people that came,” said Colin Stewart, a 22-year-old senior mechanical engineering major.

Carly Robinson, CUSG’s vice president of internal affairs. said that the concert was a triumph and worth the money spent to fund it.

“The concert was a small piece in the very large plan to remove 4/20 from our campus.” Robinson said, “We definitely feel that the money was well spent, because we consider the day a great success.  It is an investment to the overall plan of the day and to the future of CU.”

As a part of Wyclef Jean’s $80,000 artist contract, a clause stipulated that he was not to mention marijuana during the concert.

Robinson said that although Wyclef Jean broke the stipulations in his artist contract, CUSG would not enforce the clause.

“CUSG decided not to enforce that clause in the contract,” Robinson said. “From what we understand, the violation was only for about 30 seconds total out of a two-hour concert. This is not much time. Our students that attended were having a great time and we did not want to disturb that. We also didn’t want to have to spend even more money if we were to get into litigation over the contract.”

Heather Starbuck, director of Program Council, said that there were two factors that led to the poor turnout at the concert: intimidation and inconvenience.

“Campus was dead, even Wyclef came in and said, ‘This is a ghost town’,” Starbuck said, “Nobody wanted to deal with all the cops, nobody wanted to deal with the checkpoints. That’s not exactly an environment that’s conducive to a concert.”

Starbuck said that the concert was different from other events that Program Council has put on because it was full of political tension with the protests and other occurrences of 4/20.

“That was a very unique show and a unique circumstance for us,” Starbuck said. “Most of our shows are not so politically charged. Everything ended up going well, but yes, there were some kicks that day.”

Contact CU Independent Staff Writer Bethany Morris at Bethany.morris@colorado.edu

Bethany Morris

Bethany is an avid reader of anything good. She also likes to cook and garden, when she has access to a kitchen and backyard. She likes to travel whenever she can, and hopes one day to travel across Europe.

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