On Homecoming weekend, the rapper Wale performed at the Battlegrounds as the major entertainment for the UMW student body.
The rapper’s concert rubbed some in the Fredericksburg area the wrong way, as complaints came in from local residents griping about the noise level and the profanity coming from the concert site.
The angry response from residents in the surrounding area caused President Rick Hurley to issue an apology for the noise and vulgarity of the concert in a letter he wrote to the Free Lance-Star. But an apology to the Fredericksburg community wasn’t necessary.
The concert was far from an out of control rage; the noise level was closer to that of a loud house party than a deafening night club; and it wasn’t as if the show went on to the wee-hours of the morning, as Wale was off the stage by 9 p.m.
So what exactly did UMW have to be sorry for?
It’s not as if these sorts of concerts are commonplace, as it was merely a special event to celebrate the Homecoming weekend.
Look at larger schools, such as Virginia Tech and UVA, and what their surrounding communities have to deal with on a regular basis.
The huge sporting events that take place from fall through spring, with tens of thousands of people flooding to football stadiums and thousands more filling basketball arenas.
Such events are far more disturbing than this small-campus concert that the Fredericksburg community had to endure.
Furthermore, the concert wasn’t even an exclusive UMW event.
The University made the concert open to the public, free of charge.
Wale played a similar concert the following night at Virginia State University, and the tickets for that event cost $30 a piece.
Therefore UMW was actually providing a service to the Fredericksburg community, so why the uproar?
In President Hurley’s apology, he stated that if he had known of the profanity of the artist that he would have had the event held indoors.
However, while the administration may not be familiar with Wale’s work, it should have been a safe assumption that a rapper would most likely have some profanity in his music.
Hurley told the Free Lance-Star, “If there’s a crowd-friendly band like Train, maybe an outdoor concert would be appropriate.”
The student body shouldn’t be forced to suffer through a washed-up, over-40 band to appease a picky local community who can’t accept that occasionally a concert may take place in a college town.