By now, everyone on campus knows the fiasco that was UCONNIC this year, as Sean Kingston and Summer Walker, two of the three headliners of the music festival, did not perform. While Walker did not perform due to a last-minute weather-related cancellation, Kingston was cancelled by SUBOG due to his history with sexual assault. The cancellation came after several days of criticism and protests from students regarding the artist’s presence on campus, and the decision was announced last-minute, approximately 45 minutes before the event was slated to begin. Due to the last-minute nature of Kingston’s cancellation, SUBOG rightfully decided to refund every ticket sold to UCONNIC. However, with these costs, as well as the $44,000 owed to Sean Kingston and the $148,500 going to Lil Baby, the only UCONNIC headliner who performed, SUBOG has now lost nearly $200,000.
The Student Union Board of Governors will have to pay nearly $200,000 for UCONNIC artists Lil’ Baby and Sean Kingston, according to artist contracts requested by the Freedom of Information Act.
While Kingston’s performance was cancelled due to student outcry over sexual assault allegations against the artist, the contract entails payment upon cancellation from the University of Connecticut. Kingston will be paid $44,000, and Lil’ Baby will be paid $148,500.
Summer Walker, who was unable to attend the concert due to travel issues, will not be paid the $55,000 allocated in her contract, SUBOG president Adam Sherif said. This will result in at least $192,000 loss for SUBOG based on artist fees alone, since all tickets for the event were refunded after Kingston’s cancellation.
University of Connecticut students are disappointed after Sean Kingston, the opening act of UCONNIC, was officially pulled under an hour before the doors opened.
Jack Aaron, a fourth-semester computer science major, said the rumors started earlier on Thursday and he wished an announcement was made sooner.
Sean Kingston’s UCONNIC Music Festival performance has been cancelled after controversy surrounding a 2010 gang-rape allegation against the Jamaican-American singer/songwriter, according to Student Union Board of Governors president Adam Sherif and current outreach chair and incoming concert chair Jacob Stockman.
At issue is not the content or quality of Mr. Kingston’s music, but instead the rape allegations he faced regarding a concert in 2010. A 19-year-old woman claimed she was gang-raped by Kingston, his bodyguard and a band member following a concert she attended. The woman claimed she drank and smoked marijuana before the incident and so was “obviously intoxicated” and “incapable of consent.” Kingston countered that the sex was consensual, and ended up settling the trial at the time in order to focus on his upcoming album release and tour.