Potential 2017 Homecoming artists included Mike Posner, X Ambassadors

Posner would have been paid $47,500, the same as eventual OwlFest headliner T-Pain.


Mike Posner. Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Ryan Lynch, Business Manager

UPDATE (Jan. 1, 2018): This story has been updated to reflect Assistant Director of Student Activities and Involvement Richard Mahler’s comments. Namely, why the potential Homecoming 2017 artists were considered, what determined Program Board’s offer amounts, and why other acts were ultimately chosen. 

OwlFest 2017 wasn’t always supposed to have a “throwback” lineup.

Before deciding on rapper T-Pain and pop group 3OH!3, Program Board offered performance spots to rock band X Ambassadors and singer-songwriter Mike Posner, according to offer sheets made to the artists. Both bands would have been supported by reggae/pop fusion group Magic!.

X Ambassadors was offered a $40,000 flat rate for the fall performance, according to the offer sheet. Posner was offered a $47,500 guarantee and $95,000 in potential earnings.

“Bids are always based on what the artist has recently accepted,” Assistant Director of Student Activities and Involvement Richard Mahler wrote in an email. “We always look to routing and other regional schools or venues that have already booked the artist around the date to see if we can get an them cheaper since they are in the area.”

Posner is a pop singer whose last album “At Night, Alone,” reached No. 12 on the Billboard 200 chart in 2016. X  Ambassadors last charted in 2015 at No. 7 on the Billboard chart with its album “VHS.”

Neither performer had a scheduled show during Homecoming week, according to live music tracker Songkick. Mahler said the artists were reached out to due to “their live performance quality and name recognition.”

But ultimately, the potential Homecoming artists didn’t work out.

“X Ambassadors wanted almost double our offer amount and it was something we could not do financially,” Mahler wrote in an email. “As far as Posner, he wanted to spend the fall working on his new album so he was not taking new shows at the time.”

Along with T-Pain and 3OH!3, singer-songwriter Levi Stephens was chosen to perform at the fall concert. The three were paid $47,500, $30,000, and 3,000 respectively, according to assistant director of Student Activities and Involvement Richard Mahler.

Homecoming 2016’s potential artists included pop group DNCE and rap group The Ying Yang Twins, who would have performed with rapper Wale and singer-songwriter Niykee Heaton. Instead, pop artist Kesha was selected to perform alongside rapper LunchMoney Lewis.

The University Press reached out to Mahler for comment but has not received a response as of publication time.

Ryan Lynch is the business manager of the University Press. For information regarding this or other stories, email [email protected] or tweet him @RyanLynchwriter.