By Bailey Faulkner
If you blinked on Friday, you may have missed your chance to check out a first for the High Country. Rap and hip-hop artist Lil Wayne will come to Boone on Wednesday, April 12 to perform for a sold-out crowd at the Holmes Convocation Center. The show will be the first major rap and hip-hop performance in the area and the only NC date that Lil Wayne has booked so far this year.
On Friday, January 27, the Appalachian Popular Programming Society released a video on social media announcing Lil Wayne’s April show at the Convocation Center. What APPS, and seemingly anyone else, didn’t realize was that the show would sell out in just over two hours.
“We had a good feeling after seeing the social media hype for the show. Our video eventually had 60,000 views in the first day and reached 200,000 people,” APPS Concert Chairperson Michael Ream said.
Although its video found instant success, APPS did not expect the show to sell out so quickly.
“We thought the show might sell out by the following Monday. We never thought that tickets would be gone in the first day,” Ream said.
Program Coordinator and Assistant Director of Campus Programming Randy Kelly was also surprised by the show’s immediate success.
“We have never had another performance to base initial ticket sales for this show on,” Kelly said. “Nothing has ever sold this fast.”
While selling out on the first day came as a surprise, APPS was not shocked at the High Country’s excitement about its first major rap and hip-hop artist.
“We’ve been working on a convocation-sized rapper for a few years,” Ream said. “It had to happen, and it finally did.”
Years of waiting for an act like Lil Wayne likely had a hand in crashing APPS’ third-party ticket software. If you were attempting to buy tickets on Friday, you may have noticed that the system was down for about 30 minutes.
As if Lil Wayne’s first show in Boone is not exciting enough, fans are looking forward to announcements on Lil Wayne’s supporting acts for the night.
“An act as big as Lil Wayne will always have fairly well-known supporting acts. I can’t wait to find out who it will be,” Kelly said.
If you missed your chance for tickets, you should stayed tuned to 90.5 WASU The App. The station will give away a few pairs of tickets for the show in the coming weeks.
While Lil Wayne’s April show will certainly be historic for Boone and the High Country, you shouldn’t expect it to be the last rap and hip-hop show in the area.
“We have made quite an extensive list of exciting rap and hip-hop artists to bring to ASU. There are a lot of names to be tossed around,” Ream said.
Based on this show’s immediate success, Program Coordinator Kelly is also excited about what the future holds for the genre in the area.
“I’m confident with the success of this show that we can find another major rap and hip-hop act in the fall,” Kelly said.
Rap and hip-hop lovers in the High Country can now rejoice knowing that the genre, arguably the current most underrepresented genre in the area, is beginning to pick up momentum in the High Country.