Vassar students are treated to eclectic and high-quality live music throughout the school year—whether that takes the form of a steamy Mug concert or an electrifying show on the Vogelstein Quad. However, many remain unaware of the organization that is responsible for many aspects of the campus’ vibrant music scene. Vassar College Entertainment (ViCE) encompasses two sub-divisions: ViCE Music, which organizes the Welcome Back and spring concerts, and ViCE Weekly, which organizes smaller concerts roughly every other week throughout the year.
One of the two co-presidents of ViCE Music, Josh Walley ’21, stated, “Our goal is to throw events, mainly concerts, that are inclusive of as much of the campus as possible—a nice break from constant studying and stress.”
His sentiments echoed a defining statement on ViCE’s website by former ViCE Director Sarah King ’16. Speaking about the role the org plays at Vassar, Kang commented, “It is not just knowledge that makes up our campus, it is our ability to learn. Vassar College Entertainment is an organization that offers students a chance to enjoy campus: to actually engage with and see the physical spaces and emotional spaces of this college. Vassar is a bubble but one worth confronting, changing and exploring while here.”
This year’s Welcome Back concert headliners, Junglepussy and IAN SWEET, performed on the Vogelstein Center for Drama and Film quad on Saturday, Sept. 23. As relatively new artists, Junglepussy and IAN SWEET have gained a lot of attention this year over their new records. In particular, Junglepussy has made waves in the rap world, having been recognized by icons such as Nicki Minaj and Erykah Badu.
Evidenced by this year’s concert and last year’s show, which featured J.I.D and EARTHGANG, ViCE Music has continually brought to campus artists that are both popular among young people and up-in-coming in their distinct genres. However, it hasn’t always been easy— ViCE accomplished the feat of booking this year’s headliners through extensive planning during the summer.
All of the ViCE members had the opportunity to meet Junglepussy and IAN SWEET before the show. Walley reflected on talking to the star, stating, “She’s super friendly, and she had a great time. It went both ways—Vassar loved it, and she loved being here.”
The other co-president of ViCE Music, Dane Marshall ’20, expressed a similar sentiment, commenting, “It was so fun seeing her have so much fun. That’s a great part of being in the ViCE org— although we’re co-chairs, all members could sign up to do a meet and greet with the performers.” ViCE will now spend the majority of the school year planning the annual spring concert, which entails considerable interaction between ViCE members, other campus organizations and the student body. Marshall adds, “The purpose of the org throughout the year is to make the decision of what spring show would be the best on behalf of the student body and to decide how everyone can have the most fun.”
Last year’s spring concert, featuring Flatbush Zombies, proved to be a huge success, and ViCE is optimistic about living up to that high standard for the 2019 iteration. ViCE has brought noteworthy acts such as Solange, the Clash, Ratatat and Mazzy Star to campus in the past, and the current ViCE leadership is determined to live up to the accomplishments of their predecessors.
Thinking about the impressive history of artists that have performed at Vassar, Walley said, “The pressure is definitely on for the spring concert, but I think it will live up to the hype.” Although the performer is yet to be determined, Vassar’s spring concert will take place on Saturday, April 13 in Noyes Circle.
While ViCE Music aims to book big-name artists twice a year, ViCE Weekly organizes frequent shows that focus on tapping into the underground music scene. Co-presidents of ViCE Weekly for the 2018-19 school year, Paul An ’19 and Samuel Lim ’19, expressed the organization’s goal of bringing lesser-known artists that represent a wide variety of genres. They are currently looking into diversifying their typical genres of rap and indie by booking jazz and punk artists.
Both ViCE Weekly and ViCE Music’s meetings primarily consist of members sharing artists to whom they have been listening, discussing music together and brainstorming potential performers for upcoming concerts. ViCE aims to create laid-back spaces that are inviting to any students who wish to either help out with their shows or share music with them. ViCE is also open to suggestions for shows via email; they can be contacted through their Facebook page, @vassarcollegeentertainment, and their Instagram, @vicevassar.
In addition to the spring concert, ViCE is getting ready for exciting happenings and considerable changes within the organization this year. ViCE Music and ViCE Weekly plan on collaborating more with each other as well as with other music orgs on campus, such as WVKR and Vassar College Sound System (VCSS). This collaboration has already been put into practice. With WVKR, the org plans to launch an hourly radio show and has helped plan ViCE Weekly’s first event of the year. The event, a concert, is in the Mug this Friday, Sept. 28. The show will feature experimental rock band Palm and will be opened by student band Earth Dad.