An announcement many students thought was a cruel April fool’s joke was anything but fake.
The Campus Activities Board (CAB) told students via social media on April 1 that AJR will no longer be performing for USF’s music festival, Bullstock.
It was announced the following day that the American pop band Timeflies — most recognized from their song “Once in a While” — will now perform.
This new addition joins the existing acts Sick Hot and Taverns — the winners of the Battle of the Bands — lovelytheband and 3OH!3.
CAB was informed of the AJR cancellation on March 27 through its middle agent, which serve as a liaison between the band and CAB. The middle agent said the band canceled because of its Nov. 9 performance at the Yuengling Center.
Associate Director for Center of Student Involvement (CSI) Josh Wilson said it was inferred that AJR was not comfortable with the arrangements for Bullstock.
AJR apologized to USF students via social media and said that the situation turned into a “legal conflict.”
“The university mislead us and contracted us to perform a closed show for the students, which we recently found out was free to the public,” AJR said in a Facebook post on April 1.
Wilson said CAB had no prior knowledge of AJR’s performance at the Yuengling Center when the bands were hired.
After announcing the news, CAB Program Coordinator Jill Teeter said it was clear that many students were not pleased with the sudden change.
“From our announcement (on social media), we see students are disappointed but that’s showbiz, unfortunately,” Teeter said.
Wilson agreed with Teeter and said when the “shock” settles, students will be able to enjoy the concert.
“Nobody ever wants to be the one to make that announcement, but we are fortunate that Timeflies was able to accommodate to us — it’s going to be a good show,” Wilson said.
After the cancellation, CAB went back to the drawing board and was able to finalize a contract with Timeflies on March 29, a week before Bullstock.
Teeter said after talking to the committee who planned the concert, it was decided to call back the middle agent and see which artists from the student survey were still available and would fit the price range.
AJR’s contract stated that the band would receive $50,000 for their Bullstock performance, according to Teeter.
Timeflies will receive $45,000 for their performance and to accommodate late-notice travel arrangements.
Since AJR’s contract was not finalized, the money will now pay for Timeflies.
“Sometimes for music artists, the contracts can be beasts,” Wilson said. “After putting out an offer to an artist and it’s accepted, you enter into an agreement where it is a ‘to the best of our abilities’ but nothing is legally tied.”
According to Teeter, all contracts for the three bands are now completed.
The location of Bullstock remains the same — Lot 35 on the corner of USF Holly Drive and USF Maple Drive — and the bands are slated to start at 6 p.m. to midnight.
Wilson said he still thinks students will enjoy the lineup, despite the changes.
“This is a celebration for USF at the end of the day,” Wilson said. “The purpose of this week is to celebrate the best of USF and we do that through music as well.
“These are performers, when they come out, they are going to bring it.”