Jack Harlow performs on the second day of the Lollapalooza Music Festival, Friday, July 30, 2021, at Grant Park in Chicago. Credit: Amy Harris/Invision/AP

A University of Maine tradition that’s returning later this month after a two-year pandemic hiatus will feature a rapper who has been climbing music charts since his breakthrough 2020 hit “WHATS POPPIN.”

The University of Maine’s Maine Day concert on April 26 will feature 24-year-old Jack Harlow. His appearance at the Maine Event, the concert portion of the annual university holiday, marks a highlight of the day set aside for spring cleanup that also includes a parade, service projects and a barbecue.

Dylan Taplin, the University of Maine student government’s vice president of student entertainment, said organizers encountered some resistance in planning for the concert’s return due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and the deaths of nine people at a Texas concert of rapper Travis Scott’s this past November.

“I personally am incredibly excited and proud of the concert we’ve put together this year. Every act is very much worth seeing,” Taplin said. “I’m actually most excited to see the opening act.”

Tickets will only be available for University of Maine students. They are free when students present their student IDs and proof of vaccination, Taplin said.

Also new this year are more food options, including YumBus tacos and Wild Cow Creamery ice cream.

Additionally, organizers are prepared for poor weather, and more security measures will be in place to make the concert safer and run smoothly, Taplin said.

Maine Day was established in 1935 by university president Arthur Hauck. Historically, it’s set for Wednesday of the last week of spring semester classes. The Maine Event concert takes place the day before.

Harlow has been making music since 2011, but in 2020 his single “WHATS POPPIN” brought him instant fame. At the end of 2020, Harlow released his first studio album. His collaboration with fellow young musician Lil Naz X, “Industry Baby,” topped Billboard’s Hot 100.

More details on the event will be released as the concert date approaches, Taplin said.

Sawyer Loftus

Sawyer Loftus is a reporter covering Old Town, Orono and the surrounding areas. A recent graduate of the University of Vermont, Sawyer grew up in Vermont where he's worked for Vermont Public Radio, The...