21 Savage

Rapper 21 Savage, who opened ECU Homecoming festivities in 2018.

The East Carolina University Homecoming Committee has partnered with the Students Activity Board (SAB) and the Downtown Merchants Alliance (DMA) to present the ECU Homecoming Cannonball event today at 3 p.m. located at the intersection of 5th Street and Cotanche Street.

With plans to kick ECU Homecoming celebrations with the event, SAB vice president Aaron Long said the idea to partner with Uptown originally began when the DMA reached out to SAB in hopes to collaborate on the event to make a better connection with ECU students.

“The downtown merchants wanted to collaborate with the ECU students for homecoming because they wanted a better connection with students, to bridge that gap,” Long said. “They will help us financially with the concert, so we saw a great opportunity to have it at a new location and make it a bigger event.”

Long said ECU Homecoming also asked SAB to collaborate on the event, to help bring the event to Uptown to make it a larger event that will lead up to the homecoming concert. Uptown helped with production cost for the concert, which allowed ECU Homecoming and SAB to focus on the selection of the artist, according to Long.

Interim Executive Director of Uptown Greenville, Meredith Hawke, said the idea to host the concert “street style” was the goal for both SAB and the DMA were aiming for when preparing for the event.

“There was a desire to host a street style concert, SAB and merchants felt a kick-off to the homecoming week's festivities was a perfect collaboration,” Hawke said. “Having the stage on 5th street draws the students to the area and highlights business steps outside of their front doors and the location also gets the students involved in the community.”

Long also commented that from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. DJ Born Finesser will be playing music at the event, vendors such as local merchants will be distributing their products at a discounted price and the top five candidates for homecoming king and queen will be announced.

This past Tuesday afternoon SAB anncouned on its official Twitter page that the two homecoming artist performing at the concert will be singer songwriter JoJo and rapper B.o.B. When selecting the artist, Long said the decision came down to production cost and the budget provided for the event.

“Basically what happens is we put in prices on a website and then we look at our own budget and what we are willing to spend for an artist and not only do we have to look at the price the artist is asking for, we have to see our end to for how much it will cost for production,” Long said.

With the help of the DMA and Uptown, the concert and the location was made possible for ECU students to enjoy the start to homecoming festivities. Hawke said she hopes that Uptown and SAB can collaborate on future events to help create a strong connection with students.

“Uptown and SAB hope to collaborate on future events to enhance the town-gown relationship,” Hawke said. “Having your center city steps from campus is a major advantage for the University, SAB has been great to collaborate with and recognizes the draw.”

Both Cannonball and the homecoming concert will be free to ECU students, alumni and the Greenville community. The performance order between the two artists is currently undetermined, but one will begin their performance at 5 p.m. with the other to begin at 7 p.m.

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