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Minnesota State University, Mankato
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B.o.B and Jay Sean to Perform in Homecoming Concert

Limited tickets still available for purchase as of Sept. 29.

Diana Rojo-Garcia, Mankato Free Press, 9-29-2017

Have you ever wanted airplanes in the night sky to be a shooting star because you really needed a wish?

Maybe a wish that six time Grammy-nominated rapper B.o.B would perform at Minnesota State University, Mankato? That wish wasn’t wasted — the hip-hop artist B.o.B will perform next Friday at 7 p.m. at the Myers Field House at Minnesota State Mankato.

B.o.B, also known as Bobby Ray Simmons, has put out iconic songs out since 2007 with hits like “Airplanes,” “Nothin’ On You” and “Both of Us.”

He has recently released another album earlier this year, “Ether,” which revived B.o.B from a twoyear touring hiatus. He was selected by the Student Event Team at Minnesota State Mankato to play at the annual homecoming concert.

Students, and the public, are apparently thrilled to have the rapper perform at Minnesota State Mankato, as 1,450 of the free student tickets were snatched up in 70 minutes, including the “Guest” ticket options for students to purchase for their friends. Even all of the VIP tickets have been sold out.

“There are still about 10 percent of public tickets left,” said Alex Wieland, head of concert planning.
It’s not a matter of if the tickets will be sold about, he said, but a question of when the tickets will be sold out.

And honestly, how has it not been sold out yet?

Wieland remembers listening to B.o.B in high school and admits to still “jamming out” periodically to those songs that were radio hits. He believes the rest of the community will respond in the same way and give the audience a sense of nostalgia to those hits.

Bill Tourville, assistant director of campus programs at Minnesota State Mankato, recalls that with past concerts — Atmosphere in 2011, Mike Posner in 2014 and last year when T-Pain — had sold out.

All concerts were successful in their own right, but Tourville recognizes how exciting it is to have a homecoming show with not only one big artist, but two.

Jay Sean, R& B and hip-hop artist, will be the opener for the homecoming concert. He had hits such as “Down,” which was inescapable from the radio to every bar. “People are really excited for Jay Sean, too, which is really cool to get an opener that people recognize and know the name,” Tourville said.

Tourville and Wieland both said that a “double opener” is rare for Minnesota State Mankato, especially one where both acts are being received so well.

“The great thing about B.o.B, Jay Sean and T-Pain is that they’re those artists that had the couple huge hits,” Tourville said. “But then they had another five songs that you know and say ‘Dang, I forgot about all those, too.’ There will be a lot of surprises throughout the show.”

They’re artists that have made their presence known with music that gets anyone snapping their fingers and thinking back to a time where they’d once heard the song.

“It’s one of those things that students grew up with and really enjoy,” Tourville said. “And there’s always the novelty of the concert being here on campus.”

Tourville and Wieland agree that bringing in artists such as B.o.B for a homecoming concert brings a “sense of pride” to the school. Besides the University of Minnesota, many colleges around the area don’t have a homecoming concert. Students over the years have shown their appreciation by bringing other friends and siblings to the concerts.

Tickets are still available for the meanwhile for $25 and can be bought at

The entire version of this story can be read in a print copy of the Mankato Free Press. Call the Mankato Free Press at 625-4451 or (800) 657-4662 to find out how to purchase a print copy. The Free Press also prints select stories online at

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