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Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

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Dillo Day poll back and better than ever, Mayfest says

Chirag Bachani / The Daily Northwestern
Attendees dance to music during Dillo Day 50.

Armed with renewed funding and what they call more comprehensive strategies, Mayfest says it’s more prepared than ever to give students what they want at this year’s Dillo Day. The effort starts with its revamped artist poll.

Each year, Mayfest Productions sends a poll to the Northwestern community to gauge interest in different artists or genres it’s considering for Dillo Day, the largest student-run music festival in the nation. 

This year’s poll which came out Friday, respondents rate genres on a five-point scale and artists by distinguishing, “I’ve never heard of this artist,” “I’ve heard of this artist” or “I want to go see this artist.”

Past polls have asked students to mark whether they’re interested in each option.

“A lot of the feedback we got last year was, ‘we don’t actually know who these artists are, but we’re going to check off anyone we’ve heard of in hopes that we maybe know an artist in the lineup,’” said SESP senior and Mayfest Head of Bookings Armaan Ajani.

Respondents told The Daily they appreciate the new format. Communication senior Emia Musabegovic said the new poll was “much more comprehensive” than previous ones. She added she’d love to see even more updates in the future, like hyperlinks to artist bios.

Communication sophomore Aiden Kaliner said he thought the scale inclusion was “unique” and appreciated the opportunity to share his perspective.

“I felt some of my music tastes weren’t represented last year, so I wanted to make sure I had a voice in the process,” Kaliner said.

Kaliner said he also made use of the poll’s final question, which allows people to recommend artists not featured in the poll. He wrote in Olivia Dean and Rina Sawayama as his picks for the lineup, he said.

Ajani said Mayfest’s booking team formulates the poll careful to not spoil the lineup eight months before the festival. There are artists on the poll who definitely won’t be at Dillo Day, and artists who could perform at Dillo Day not on the poll, Ajani said. 

Last year, just one artist who performed at Dillo Day was featured on a Mayfest artist poll: indie musician Briston Maroney. The lineup also featured rapper Offset, EDM artist J. Worra, rapper TiaCorine and R&B artist RINI.

But, more importantly, the poll helps take the musical pulse of campus, Ajani said.

“We do try to create as diverse a list as possible in order to extrapolate the best data we can on how campus would feel about any artists we’re considering,” he said.

While the booking committee created the poll, Mayfest’s promotion team was responsible for ensuring it reaches as many students as possible –– mainly through promoting the poll on social media.

The new format seems effective, Weinberg junior and Mayfest Co-Head of Promotions Tyler Keim said. Mayfest is on track to get the most responses it has ever seen, according to Keim.

As Mayfest continues its search for artists to grace the lakefill this spring, the poll is an important factor, Keim said. 

“This is key data our bookings team uses to try to create a Dillo Day lineup that is not only exciting to the Northwestern community but reflective of all the tastes that make up the community,” he said. 

The poll is still open to all Northwestern students, accessible online and on Mayfest’s social media.

The club hopes to hear from as many students as possible, Keim said.

“Take the survey,” he said. “Make your voice heard.”

Email: [email protected] 

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