Winter Jam brings big name to BG

Joanna Williams

Bowling Green sophomore Marcel Flournoy has been excited for the Winter Jam Concert since January when he began seeing the flyers around campus and invites on Facebook.

Flournoy is looking forward to the concert because he’s been a Yo Gotti fan since he was 12 but has never been to one of the rapper’s concerts.

He said he’s also glad other major performers are coming too.

“It’s going to bring a lot of publicity for the school because they are big name artists,” Flourney said.

Friday’s Winter Jam Concert featuring Soulja Boy, Ray J and Yo Gotti is presented by Horseman Entertainment, a Bowling Green-based agency, and hosted by Startin5ive, a promotion group made up of three WKU students and two students who go to other universities.

Bowling Green senior Chase Carpenter, a member of Startin5ive, estimates the group has had about 25 events over the course of his four years at WKU. They mostly include parties and forums with the Black Student Alliance.

But the Winter Jam Concert is their first large-scale event, Carpenter said.

“We’ve been building up for a show like this,” he said.

Desmond Bell, CEO of Horseman Entertainment, said putting on a hip-hop concert was more than trying to break away from the string of country music artist WKU usually hosts.

“Western does more with country artists because they tend to do better,” he said. “There’s been hip-hop concerts at Western, but they haven’t been as successful.”

Bell said he did research to find out when the last successful hip-hop concert at WKU was in order to determine which month and week to have this one.

The last time a hip-hop artist played successfully here was Nappy Roots at the end of February 2003, so Bell wanted this concert to be at a similar time, he said.

Bell said the group hopes to reach a wide variety of people through the acts they chose for the concert.

“What we wanted to do was make a concert for everyone,” he said. “We wanted to appeal to a younger demographic, so we brought in Soulja Boy. We wanted to appeal to the ladies and the R&B crowd so we got Ray J. And for the people who enjoy the harder rap, we brought in Yo Gotti.”

Tickets for the show in Diddle Arena are $25 for WKU students and $30 for general admission.

Affordability was the main goal for the show, because Bell wanted to draw people from across the region.

“This isn’t about making money,” he said. “It’s about creating a good event for the community.”