K’Naan added to 2013 AMS Block Party lineup

Going Strong: K'Naan

Going Strong: K’Naan

The lineup for AMS Block Party has been completed by the return of Somali-Canadian rapper K’Naan to campus.

K’Naan joins a lineup, announced Monday, that includes DJs Dillon Francis, Mord Fustang and My!Gay!Husband!, indie-folk band Good for Grapes and the eventual winner of the AMS’s Last Band Standing contest.

“It’s always good to have him [K’Naan] on campus. It attracts such an interesting crowd that really does well to kind of balance out the EDM crowd for Dillon Francis and Mord Fustang,” said AMS President Caroline Wong, who added that the AMS tried “to appeal as many demographics as possible, aligned with our budget.”

K’Naan is best known for his 2010 single “Waving Flag,” featured in Coca-Cola advertisements for the 2010 FIFA World Cup and remade as a benefit single featuring more than 50 artists for relief efforts after the Haitian earthquake. He is also known for his collaborations with Nelly Furtado, Mary J. Blige and Metallica guitarist Kirk Hammett.

The lineup released Monday did not include K’Naan as headliner. Wong said the AMS wanted to respond to requests from students. “We were seeing a lot of requests from students about releasing tickets and asking for the lineup, so we felt comfortable releasing lineups as it was beforehand and waiting for confirmation from K’Naan later.”

It is the artist’s first return to campus since he was a Terry Talks featured speaker at the Chan Centre in September 2010. K’Naan also has a history with student groups in B.C., having dropped out of a charity concert at SFU in September 2010 over issues surrounding payment.

This concert has been announced as the last Block Party to take place at McInnes Field. With construction on a new Aquatic Centre set to start this year, the AMS is still searching for a backup location for future versions of the event until a new field is finished in 2016, according to Wong.

“The plan is being made, we’re still being consulted, and we want to deliver the same kind of Block Party if not better in the time in-between,” Wong said. “It really depends on campus culture and how we can engage students. However, based on the reputation we’ve built from last year’s Block Party and this year’s Welcome Back BBQ, I’m quite certain that we can rally students together to participate in this kind of community event.”


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