Childish Gambino cancels Spring Splash appearance, replaced by Billy Ray Cyrus

Jaspery Goh/HIGHLANDER

“Childish Gambino is going to perform at UCR again!” they said. “It’s gonna get lit!” they said. “Oh shit he cancelled?” they wailed.

Yes, after the failed stint that was HEAT 2014 which saw the cancellation of performances from Gambino, Ciara, Madeon and The Neighbourhood among others, Donald Glover was set to perform at UCR for Spring Splash. It was Gambino’s long-awaited return that had students across campus ecstatic and ready to get turnt.

“I was there when HEAT 2014 was cancelled man,” said one beefed up musclehead, “Shit was hella whack yo, but my dude Gambino is back and I’m hella psyched.”

“Yeah I love Donald Glover!” exclaimed another girl who looked like she was ready to venture forth to Coach(ella) instead of Spring Splash, “What, you didn’t know that Childish Gambino’s real name is Donald Glover? Trust me I’m like his biggest fan.” Her friend, who was obviously drunk, interjected, “Yeah he was also in Community! How could you not know that?”

As students crowded the HUB lawn, they anxiously waited for Gambino’s return as the opening acts came and went. After all, it’s been three years since his failed 2014 performance and now he’s in the midst of promoting his new album “Awaken, My Love!” and hot on the heels of his highly acclaimed show, “Atlanta.”

The lights dimmed and it was finally time for Gambino to make his return to stage. Smoke traversed across the stage and onto the crowd and slowly but surely, a figure emerged from the smoke. To the crowd’s enormous cheers, Glover revealed himself to the audience.

“Hey there folks,” said Gambino, “My name is Billy Ray Cyrus and I’ll be your headlining act of the night. My friend Donald couldn’t make it, but he told me that you’ll be in good hands with me. So let’s get this party started y’all!”

The crowd was stunned. As it happened, Gambino and Cyrus fell victim to the “Freaky Friday” pandemic that swept the globe this past weekend.

After two failed HEAT concerts, one in 2014 and 2016, Gambino’s second consecutive failed appearance at UCR dealt yet another harsh blow to the always seemingly troubled campus concert. The crowd, visibly distraught, started booing Gambino. But the Disney Channel star didn’t let the boos deter him as he started the night off with his one-hit wonder, “Achy Breaky Heart.” As the crowd dispersed in anger and shock, the country star kept singing and strumming his guitar. But gosh be darned, something miraculous happened.

“Wait, I know that song!” one student shouted, “They play it all the time at our family gatherings!” As the HUB Lawn dissipated with students, a group of other students, primarily Hispanic, gathered around and started getting into formation to dance to the song.

For the unbeknownst, in many Mexican gatherings, a spanish version of Cyrus’ magnum opus “Achy Breaky Heart” is often played for the chance to dance along with family and friends. It has become a staple in the culture and its iconic line dance is adored and performed by many the instant Miley Cyrus’ father plays his guitar.As students gathered in formation, other non-Hispanic students decided to give it a go. This lead to “Achy Breaky Heart” being the only song Cyrus played through the night — dozens of times. Those who shunned the Disney Channel star dad now joined along with the line dance and by the end of the night the HUB lawn was a sight to behold. The UCR community came for Gambino, but stayed for the ex-Disney Channel father’s dandy tune, “Achy Breaky Heart” as they danced the night away into country heaven.

 

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