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Despite the success of the Spring Fling concert, the headliner, Chance the Rapper, almost didn't appear for his performance. 

Credit: Julio Sosa

This year’s Fling concert marked another success for the members of the Social Planning and Events Committee Concerts — but it was a show that almost didn’t go on.

This past Friday, concert headliner Chance the Rapper almost cancelled his performance due to illness. SPEC Concerts directors received a call from Chance’s management partway through opener 3LAU’s set, detailing his reasons for cancellation. Later on stage, after he appeared over an hour after the end of 3LAU’s performance, Chance also directly referenced the situation and said that “[he] actually almost cancelled the show tonight.”

During the concert, he also referenced his health.

“It’s really f**king cold... I might just get pneumonia,” he said. But, he continued on with his performance.

SPEC Concerts Director and College senior Spencer Jaffe affirmed Chance’s statements on stage.

“The situation was very much like what he said in the concert,” Jaffe said. “He almost cancelled because he was very sick, and we got a call pretty late in the game, which was obviously a little bit stressful.”

Luckily for SPEC Concerts, however, Chance did not call off his show. After reassessing his health, he decided that he was feeling well enough to perform. Jaffe said that before he arrived at Penn, Chance was in his hotel room in Philadelphia.

Jaffe also added that the call that they received from Chance was a discussion rather than an official cancellation.

“What really caused the delay was him understanding how he was feeling so that he could come to a decision,” Jaffe said.

At the time of this discussion, the SPEC Concerts directors had not fully formulated a backup plan, but planned to remain transparent about the situation.

“We hadn’t fully thought about another plan,” Jaffe said. “We were obviously planning to make an announcement so that people would know what was going on and not feel left out of the loop.”

Jaffe also added that in the case that Chance the Rapper had cancelled, the SPEC Concerts Committee would have tried to make it as “fair as possible” to everyone who paid for a ticket.

“It’s a tough situation because we did have one act go on, but he’s not the headliner,” he said.

However, SPEC is grateful that everything worked out in the end for the Fling performance.

“In music, there are a lot of things that are out of our control,” Jaffe said. “We lucked out in that we were able to keep our artist — others schools and venues have not been as lucky, and we’re really glad everything worked out.”

Enterprise Editor Jessica McDowell contributed reporting.

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