Bareilles, Hotel Lights To Open for Ben Folds at Spring Weekend Concert

Sara Bareilles will open this year’s Spring Weekend concert, which will be headlined by Ben Folds. Folds will be bringing along the indie band Hotel Lights.

The concert will take place in Johnson Athletic Center at 8 p.m. on Saturday, April 25. MIT community members may purchase tickets online at

Bareilles was selected by the Student Activities Office based on a survey conducted in the fall, in which students rated ten artists. Bareilles, best known for her 2007 single “Love Song,” was the seventh most popular choice, after Jason Mraz, Folds, Dashboard Confessional, Guster, Gym Class Heroes, and O.A.R.

Hotel Lights, formed in 2003 by former Ben Folds Five band member Darren Jessee, will open before Bareilles.

Several students asked about the artists did not recognize Bareilles or Hotel Lights. Kent M. Willis ’10 said he had not heard of either opening act, but will attend the concert anyway. “I like Ben Folds enough to go, regardless of the opening acts,” Willis said.

Yi Wang ’09 said she liked Bareilles’ music, but felt that her music “is good on a CD, but not necessarily good live in the concert setting.”

Bareilles’s selection was not based solely on the survey responses. Factors such as her appeal to an audience different from Folds’s, availability for April 25, and cost were considered. Bringing Bareilles to MIT will cost $25,000, half as much as the $50,000 spent on securing Folds, but $5,000 more than what was originally allotted for the opening act.

Joshua Velasquez ’08, a design strategist at the Student Activities Office who is in charge of publicity for the weekend, said the over-expenditure was necessary to ensure the selection was among the choices in the survey. Funding for the entire weekend will be taken from student life fees and admission fees to the events.

Velasquez also expects the ticketing and security issues that delayed the entry of some concert-goers last year will be resolved in time for this Spring Weekend.

“Our hope is to refine the ticketing and security processes enough to get everyone into the show to see all three acts,” said Velasquez.

Tickets to the concert and other Spring Weekend events are scheduled to go on sale to members of the MIT community today. MIT students can purchase tickets to the concert for themselves at $15 apiece and for their guests at $25 apiece. People not affiliated with MIT will be able to purchase tickets to the concert beginning March 30.

The Spring Weekend festival, which will occur from 12 p.m. to 8 p.m. just before the concert, will function as an outdoor music festival with on-campus groups performing. There will also be booths for non-musical student groups and off-campus vendors.

While the pre-concert festival will be free, a dinner from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. will come with a $3 fee for everyone, including students and general community members.

Student groups can still take part in the festival for free by sending applications to by March 21.