Cash Cash to headline Greekfest

Cash Cash to headline Greekfest

Rapper Juicy J will perform at this year’s Greekfest. 

Francie Johnson

Although Saturday marks Costa Greekfest’s sixth consecutive year at The University of Alabama, it will be a day of firsts for the festival. From a new lighting system to a new location to the new Greekfest Foundation, Inc., many things about Greekfest will change this year, but its purpose will not.

“At its core, [Greekfest] is an event that is intended to bring students from all reaches of campus together for a night to party, meet new people, kick off the new academic year and contribute to what has become the largest annual fundraiser on campus,” Interfraternity Council President Salim ?Alameddin said.

This Saturday, New Jersey-based electronic dance music group Cash Cash will headline Greekfest, marking the first time since Pretty Lights’ 2010 headlining set that the festival will feature EDM. The lineup also includes Memphis-based rapper Juicy J, as well as local bands Mother Funk and The Doctors and ?The Lawyers.

“As Greekfest has grown over the years, [we’ve been able] to book more acts and appeal to a wider ?audience,” Alameddin, a senior majoring in political science and history, said. “In order to draw a larger crowd, and thus raise more money for charity, we have made an effort to provide a variety of genres that we hope students will enjoy.”

Costa Greekfest is a live music event organized by the IFC and sponsored by Costa Sunglasses, Inc. Last year, attendance reached an estimated 9,000 people, and the event raised $80,000, all of which was donated to charity.

This year, all proceeds will be split between the Billfish Foundation and the recently founded Greekfest Foundation, Inc., which will then divide its portion of the profits between four separate philanthropy projects, with each donation expected to reach $12,000-15,000.

Chee Ammen, partner at event production company True Productions, has helped the IFC organize Greekfest every year since the festival began. Ammen said planning for the festival begins as early as March or April.

“Whoever is the new head of the IFC will send us a list of the artists that they’re wanting and we just start shopping for it,” Ammen said. “We give them recommendations. ‘Oh, you don’t want this band’ or ‘They’re kinda on the downside.’ We try to research everything.”

In 2013, Greekfest supported local talent by featuring Tuscaloosa-based band Mother Funk as an opening act. This year, the IFC continues the trend. In addition to Mother Funk returning for a second performance, Tuscaloosa staple The Doctors and The Lawyers will make their Greekfest debut.

“Obviously for any music festival to be super successful, you have to have some headliners,” said Chris Wilhelm, an MBA student and lead guitarist for The Doctors and The Lawyers. “But I just think that the bands like us – you know, we’re good friends with the guys from Mother Funk, and we’re the guys that are here in town 365 days out of the year playing at the bars locally, and [playing Greekfest] just really, really helps us.”

During their Greekfest set, The Doctors and the Lawyers will perform several new songs from their upcoming self-produced debut album.

“We get a great exposure to the most important fan base we have, the fan base in our hometown here in Tuscaloosa,” Wilhelm said. “To actually be able to put on a big production here in Tuscaloosa is something that’s pretty cool that we actually haven’t gotten to do yet.”

Following the two local opening acts, Juicy J and Cash Cash will each take the stage. Alameddin said widespread praise of Nelly’s 2012 Greekfest performance and Wiz Khalifa’s 2013 Greekfest performance influenced the IFC’s decision to book Greekfest’s third consecutive hip hop act. Community feedback also played a role in the IFC booking an EDM band, he said.

“We received suggestions that we should look into booking an act to perform at night, with lots of lights, and a more electronic sound,” Alameddin said. “After much deliberation, we decided Cash Cash fit the mould.”

Costa Greekfest will take place on Saturday in the Perimeter side of the NE Commuter Lot. Gates open at 5 p.m., and the show starts at 6 p.m. Tickets are $40 in advance and $50 at the gate and can be purchased at studentorg.tix.com . For more information, follow the Twitter handle @CostaGreekfest.