FlashFest is looking pretty dim this year

Ben Breier

The Black Keys. Muse. Common.

These are all musical artists who have performed at past incarnations of FlashFest, giving students something to look forward to before plunging into their finals cram sessions.

Last year’s FlashFest provided a great list of musical talent – Muse and Razorlight headlined a commercially saturated MTV Campus Invasion Tour. Forget the fact that the poor weather forced some of the festivities to take place inside at the M.A.C. Center, the festival was one of the best that this university has ever seen.

After looking at the upcoming lineup for this year’s show, it begs the question: What the hell is the All Campus Programming Board doing with its allocations?

Before we assume that we were simply spoiled by last year’s star-studded lineup, let’s take a look at some of the artists we have coming this year.

First up, we’ve got GZA from the Wu-Tang Clan. The big Wu was relevant way back in 2000, but the group doesn’t really have any staying power in this day and age. ACPB may have been trying to tap into some collegiate nostalgia, but you don’t do that by bringing the least important member of a group who reached his peak half a decade ago.

Next, we have DJ Skribble – an MTV disc jockey famous for his appearances on generic dance music based television shows such as “The Grind,” “Yo! MTV Raps” and “Global Groove.” Skribble’s “talent” is questionable at best, as the last time his blas‚ brand of techno was popular was five years ago – just like the Wu-Tang Clan.

What’s even worse is that Skribble, our “headliner,” lacks any sort of mainstream appeal. Students might recognize him from his MTV experience, but his techno caters to a very small audience that decreases in significance as time goes on.

Mustard Plug is your generic ska outfit designed to attract all lovers of terrible horn-based punk music everywhere. Bert Kreischer is a comedian who has trouble getting airtime on Comedy Central’s “Premium Blend,” a show consisting mostly of a bunch of nobody comedians attempting to hack it in the industry.

Rumor has it that a larger headlining band was supposed to carry this year’s FlashFest, but dropped off at the last minute. Even if this is the case, shouldn’t ACPB have some sort of contingency plan?

If there’s anybody who suffers here, it’s the students. Most freshmen will be blissfully ignorant of the quality of the show, as this will be their first FlashFest – but everybody else should feel very ripped-off by the ACPB.

Instead of selecting innovative and progressive artists, the ACPB has taken your money and invested it bands who were mildly popular at the beginning of the millennium. Merely one year after last year’s FlashFest, it is obvious the ACPB has lost touch with its audience.

At this point, the ACPB can only do one thing to gain back its lost credibility: Apologize to the students of Kent State, and start planning for next year.

Ben Breier is a junior magazine journalism major and the assistant ALL editor for the Daily Kent Stater. Contact him at [email protected].