Eminem will not be showing up in front of Sexton Commons with his suitcase and asking for directions to Clemens Stadium anytime soon.
JEC announced the headliner for 12 Pines will be Mat Kearney today in this very issue. Kearney may be a widely known artist with several award-winning albums under his belt, but he won’t be lifting a golden trophy tomorrow.
And we’re okay with that.
Pinestock, the predecessor to “insert-year-here” Pines, would boast artists like Edwin McCain and Fred Savage & The Unbeatables in years past. That was fitting for the St. John’s University of the past. But things change, and Pinestock has changed with it.
St. John’s is no longer just St. John’s – we’re not CSB/SJU with a community that demands diversity and a variety of experiences to cater to the student body. Change is good, and 12 Pines takes a step in the right direction with Mat Kearney.
Call a spade a spade – CSB/SJU is a school of about 4,000 students in essentially the middle of the Minnesotan wilderness. The phone isn’t ringing off the hook from artists begging to debut their latest beats in picturesque Collegeville.
And again, that’s not a bad thing. We know what this school is and what we stand for, and picking the right entertainment is being true to that.
The JEC adopting 12 Pines is an attempt to evolve with the changing campus demographics. As the campus changes, so too will the Pines tradition. The goal is to highlight a new element of the festival each year – one that will change in order to include and please everyone. This year, that just happens to be a headliner band.
Next year, don’t expect Drake or Death Cab for Cutie. Pinestock has become 12 Pines – for a good reason. The festival reflects the CSB/SJU community and environment, and it should stay that way.
We may not be onstage with Mat Kearney, but we are the ones reflected in this festival. Small fish should know they’re small fish – it makes life easier and more fun for all.