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On Saturday afternoon Kesha's Facebook page revealed that she would be performing at Penn on April 17.

Credit: Courtesy of Becky Sullivan/Creative Commons

On Saturday afternoon at 3:59 p.m., fewer than 20 individuals in the entire student body were aware that pop artist Kesha would headline this year’s Spring Fling concert. By 4:10, nearly all 10,000 knew.

On Saturday afternoon at 4 p.m., while many students were enjoying St. Patrick’s Day festivities, Kesha posted to her Facebook page, saying “Want to win a pair of tickets to see Kesha at the University of Pennsylvania on April 17th?!” and inviting her followers to enter a selfie contest.

Kesha did not explicitly state she would perform at Spring Fling, but students were quick to realize what her status meant and even quicker to spread the news.

“I probably got six texts in one minute,” College freshman Sarah Hinstorff said. “Every group chat I’m a part of blew up with the news.”

College freshman Courtney Dougherty had a similar experience. She was at a Frisbee tournament when she received a text message from a friend and told her teammates the news.

“Within 30 seconds almost everyone else got texts confirming that it was Kesha,” she said.

SPEC Concerts planned to announce the Fling artists on Sunday evening using a YouTube video, but the surprise announcement forced them to alter their plans.

SPEC Concerts co-Director Suvadip Choudhury said he received multiple messages from friends just minutes after Kesha’s post telling him the information had been leaked. He immediately contacted the other directors, and they decided to quickly release their video online to take advantage of the release hype.

Kesha’s sudden Facebook post was not the only problem SPEC had in rolling out this year’s Fling artist announcement. The YouTube video that they created was taken down due to copyright violation soon after SPEC posted it online.

“Currently it is being blocked on copyright for one of the songs, and we are hoping to get that block removed,” Choudhury said on Monday evening. “We are waiting to get approval on some changes that we made.”

Although keeping the lineup a secret was not stipulated in the contracts of either artist, Choudhury said the release was something they tried to coordinate with them.

“The booking agency was fully aware of when we planned to release, and they communicated that with the artists’ management,” he said. “I can’t comment on where that information was lost.”

Members of SPEC Concerts say they are more focused on the student response to the announcement than the release itself.

“These things happen,” Engineering sophomore and SPEC Concerts co-Director Kelsey Simet said. “In the end it’s about making sure Penn students are happy and not about the release date.”

SPEC’s newly implemented “flash sign-up” ticketing process began today, when SPEC posted a form to sign up for floor passes on the Facebook event page for the concert at 12:50 a.m. Inevitably, many students were disappointed after today’s allotment of 50 spots were taken in a little over 20 seconds. Students who still want floor passes will have six more chances to reserve a place.

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