Waka Flocka Flame and DJ Mustard to perform at newly-changed Bearstock


Image: Courtesy of Mercer Quadworks

Quadworks’ artwork shows the new changes to Bearstock and the artists performing at Bearstock: After Dark.

Rose Scoggins, Staff Writer

After announcing that Bearstock 2017 would be a two-part event on Feb. 20, QuadWorks announced on March 3 that artists Waka Flocka Flame and DJ Mustard would be co-headliners for the second part of the event, Bearstock: After Dark.

Waka Flocka Flame is a rapper known for songs like “Hard in da Paint” and “No Hands.” His co-headliner, DJ Mustard — whose official name is Dijon Isaiah McFarlane — is a Los Angeles-based artist with an upbeat hip-hop sound. He makes what he calls “ratchet music,” according to an article written by The Cluster on March 3.

A fan of Waka Flocka Flame, student Joelle Hitechew said she is excited to see him in concert.

“His music is easily my favorite genre to dance to, and I’m excited to see him in Hawkins Arena with other bears,” Hitechew said.

The opening act for Waka Flocka Flame and DJ Mustard at Bearstock: After Dark is EDM artist Gazzo.

The Cluster article also stated that the artists performing at Bearstock: After Dark will no longer have to censor their music, since the concert will be held indoors in Hawkins Arena.

The day portion of the event, still taking place in Tattnall Square Park, will feature the artists Nite Owl, Some Kids, Hindsight, Savannah Alday and Abby Henry, according to a video announcement released by Quadworks on their Facebook page.

“This is the first year in a while that we felt we have really been able to provide a diverse Bearstock experience because of artist availability and the change of format this year,” said Nate Flowers, president of Quadworks in an email. “We know that it is very hard to please everyone with artist selection, but we try our best to act in the best interest of students.”

Flowers said that the changes made to the 2017 edition of the annual Mercer event resulted because of issues in the past.

“Last year after Bearstock, there were a lot of crimes reported on campus,” Flowers said. “Some of these include armed robberies, apartment break-ins, car break-ins, and physical assault.”

After learning of the reported crimes, QuadWorks and the Mercer administration decided that changes needed to be made in order to keep the event safer for Mercer students, Flowers said.

Flowers said that the changes were collaborated on by the QuadWorks’ Mercer Live committee, Mercer Police, Mercer Athletics, the University Center staff, director of campus life Carrie Ingoldsby and Douglas Pearson, dean of students.

The changes made to the April 8 event split it into two parts. The first part will feature regional and local artists from 1-6 p.m. in Tattnall Square Park.

“The day portion has never been a security concern, and therefore we wanted to allow anyone to enjoy the day music festival,” Flowers said.

The second part of the event, Bearstock: After Dark, will be held in Hawkins Arena for Mercer students only. Students can bring two guests for $5 each. The event will not be open to the public.

“We are sorry we could not continue to keep this event open to the public, but keeping attendees safe is the number one priority,” Flowers said about the student-only change. “We encourage anyone to attend our day portion on Tattnall Square Park.”

Even though the second part has been restricted to students only and moved to an on-campus location, Flowers said that QuadWorks and Mercer will not be taking security for the concert lightly.

“These precautions will feel very standard for most large touring concerts,” he said.

Items that will not be permitted to be brought into the arena include “bags (girls may have small purses, subject to check), umbrellas, large/bulky jackets, coolers, or outside food and drink,” Flowers said.

Although there will not be any outside food or drink allowed, Flowers said students will be given the opportunity to purchase drinks inside the arena.

“In addition,” he said, “we will not admit any students under the effects of alcohol (as this is a dry campus) or drugs, and possible Judicial Education action may be taken for offenders.”

Students will also be required to enter through a metal detector and will not be allowed to re-enter after they have left the arena.

QuadWorks will keep track of tickets for students and their two guests by “giving out tickets via wristbands,” Flowers said.

Mercer students must show their bear card to receive a wristband for themselves and their guests. The guests must be with the students at the time of entry, he said.

After hearing about the new security measures and changes made to Bearstock, senior Terea Stewart, who hasn’t been to Bearstock since her freshman year, said she could see herself attending the event this year.

Stewart said she thought that having a portion of the event that was for Mercer students only was a “cool” change.

“I’m pretty sure we’re the ones paying for this, so we’re entertaining ourselves and not paying for other people’s entertainment,” she said.