By PHONG LY
Relays can be an exciting time for Drake students. The track and field events attracted nearly 40,000 fans over four days of action to Des Moines and Drake last year, according to Drake Athletic Department. Besides the main events which are the actual competitions, the annual Drake Relays is also known for the concert with well-known artists brought to Drake by the Student Activities Board (SAB).
“SAB tries to choose a Relays artist that a majority of students will enjoy,” said Giada Morresi, SAB president. “We pick and confirm our act in the fall semester so that we have plenty of time to finalize other important details and contracts.”
In order to find the best fit act for campus, SAB sends out a Relays Survey each fall to gain feedback about the previous concert and suggestions from students for the artists they’d like to see at Drake.
“The last two artists were chosen based on the artist and genre suggestions from the student body,” Morresi said.
SAB president encouraged students to take the survey and choose any artist that they want.
“Our survey offers some realistic choices for students to consider as they think about artists they’d like to see,” Morresi said. “Who knows? Maybe next year’s artist is someone on this year’s survey.”
Some of the names that came to Drake in the past Relays years were recognizable. Students that attended Drake Relays 2017 saw Lil’ Yahty, a rising rapper with a few hit songs that year, which included “Broccoli” and “iSpy.” The 109th Drake Relays last year welcomed Marc E. Bassy, an R&B artist with the famous hit “You & Me,” and brother band AJR with their hits “Weak” and “Sober Up.”
Genesis Buckhaton, one of the two Band co-chairs of SAB, stated that they always need to look through their budget before booking an artist.
“We also pick out the relays artist/band by looking through the suggestions we get through the Relays survey and suggestions we got from the bucket where students could write down an artist and put it in,” Buckhaton said.
So far, the suggestions the two Band co-chairs received have been diverse.
“We have been receiving an array of artists, like rappers, indie/alternative and other not as well-known artists,” Buckhaton said.
Buckhaton urged Drake students to take the survey so that they can voice their preference about the kind of act they would enjoy.
“The artist we choose could come from the Relays survey so everyone’s input is greatly appreciated,” Buckhaton said.
Even SAB members have their own idea of a dream Relays concert. President of SAB Giada Morresi wants the “Thrift Shop” rapper Macklemore to perform at Drake.
“I think that Macklemore would be a terrific Relays artist,” Morresi said. “He’s got great energy, has a lot of awesome songs and would put on a fantastic show.”
Genesis Buckhaton also wanted a rapper to make an appearance: the rapper that shares a name with this very institution, Drake.
“I would love to see Drake come back to campus,” Buckhaton said. “But I’ll take any artist that would appeal to the rest of campus.”
Any Drake student can take the Relays Survey until Oct. 12, 2018. Two survey takers will be randomly selected to win a $25 Amazon gift card. Students can access the survey at