By The Lariat Staff
and Danny Huizinga
Five for Fighting will perform as the headliner during next week’s Diadeloso, Baylor Chamber confirmed Thursday night. The news was leaked after students noticed a tweet from Five for Fighting singer John Ondrasik, which said “Just locked in a last minute gig at @Baylor next Thursday Apr. 18th. What Up Bears? #54F.”
Five For Fighting is the stage name of Ondrasik, a singer-songwriter who writes “deeply personal songs that include social messages,” according to Five for Fighting’s website. The performer is best known for songs such as “The Riddle,” “100 Years” and “Chances.”
The Lariat reported Thursday that Chamber planned to delay the announcement of the Dia headliner in order to allow publicity for other events throughout the day.
“When we start planning for the event, we have to start planning for 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. The headliner is a big part of that, but it’s not the entire day,” Chamber Diadeloso chair Pauline Minnaar told the Lariat. “So we spent a lot of time focusing on the other things that were going on and wanted to publicize that stuff and get people excited about that, and hopefully create this idea that Dia is about more than just a person who plays a concert for an hour.”
Though the tweet that leaked the news disrupted those plans, Minnaar said the organization is not upset.
“If anything, I think it starts a buzz or starts a rumor and we can confirm that, and I don’t think it really is a negative and I don’t think it stands in contradiction to what we want to publicize,” Minnaar said. “It’s the same thing.”
Minnaar said Chamber is excited about the band’s appearance, noting that “we often aren’t able to bring an artist that has that kind of credibility.”
In choosing a band, Minnaar said Chamber looked for a popular artist that was Baylor appropriate. She said the process begins after the previous Diadeloso and continues until the time of the event.
“I think they’ve had some really good hits. If you go on YouTube their videos have had quite a few views,” she said.
Student reactions to the news were mixed. Longtime fans of the performer expressed excitement.
“I’m super excited about Five for Fighting at Dia. I have liked them for forever, and all my friends are super pumped, too,” Waco freshman Hannah Bradley said.
Tomball sophomore Zach Heefner also expressed excitement about seeing the performer.
“The rumor I’d heard for the past few months is that we should expect someone old school for Dia and they weren’t kidding. He may not be the most current act, but seeing Five for Fighting will be a fun throwback. My junior-high-self is ecstatic,” Heefner said. Marshall sophomore Ross Tarpley said he’s been a fan for years. “I really enjoy their unique style. I think students will be more than pleased,” Tarpley said.
Others were disappointed. Louis, Mo., senior Jake Brown said with the money Chamber was allotted, they should have picked a better band.
“Chamber had almost $90,000 for Dia this year, and they got Five for Fighting? Thanks, but no thanks, Chamber. What a letdown,” Brown said.
When asked how much money was allocated to pay for the headline performance out of the $90,000 budget, Chamber declined comment.
Minnaar said she knew Chamber’s selection — whatever it might have been — wouldn’t please everyone.
“You hope everyone can find something in the day and find something they like and can latch onto that and enjoy it.”
And indeed, some students remain unconcerned with the headliner performance. Tomball junior Robert Lewis said he’s never even heard of Five for Fighting, but that it didn’t matter.
“I hope they’re good. I’ll probably be spending more time hanging out with friends than listening to the bands,” Lewis said.