Little 5 crowd has Barron to thank for Weezy show

BLOOMINGTON — Plymouth High School graduate (2007) and Indiana University senior Meredith Barron will undoubtedly remember many special events from her four years at I.U., but the one scheduled for April 12 will more than likely be a standout.
Barron persuaded rapper Lil Wayne — real name Dewayne Carter — to perform at the college’s Assembly Hall during the annual Little 500 activities in April.
“I’ve been a fan of Lil Wayne for four or five years,” Barron said. “My friends have been talking about trying to get him to come to our campus for a long time. So, I decided to give it a try.”
Ironically, Lil Wayne’s eight-month incarceration at Rikers Island in New York City gave an opportunity to make her plea.
As the star was entering jail in 2010 after pleading guilty to having a semi-automatic weapon in his tour bus in 2007, he let his fans know that his assistant would be posting on a blog he would respond to those who wrote to him.
As luck would have it, Weezy (Lil Wayne) responded to Meredith’s letter and it was posted on the web at “Meredith Barron — I thank you for your love and support. I can’t wait to see the petition and I’m gonna see if I can do the little 5 for ya.”
When Barron got the response, she and fellow Lil Wayne fans started a paper petition to gather support, but were only able to get 300 to 400 signatures.
She said, “It was right before finals, but I knew I had to do something.”
Turning to the social network Facebook, they gathered over 1,000 signatures within 24 hours. That number grew to over 50,000 fans in a month of those who said they would attend if the performer came to I.U.
Barron said her hopes were dashed when Lil Wayne’s tour dates were posted after his release from jail in November, 2010. She said, “When I saw Missouri (St. Louis, April 10) and Texas (Dallas, April 15), I thought he couldn’t possibly consider coming here.”
She said, “The I.U. administrators questioned whether enough tickets to pay for a performance could be sold since it takes quite a bit of money to book him.”
But that fear was unfounded. Barron said all the tickets for the upcoming performance were sold out in three days. Although she isn’t sure how many tickets were available, Barron does know that the I.U. Assembly Hall holds nearly 17,500 and that extra chairs are being set up on the floor.
As a token of appreciation, the I.U. Union Board has reserved what Barron calls “good seats” for her and her friends. The Union Board stepped up to help with the logistics and other matters necessary to hold the performance.
“It’s not just Lil Wayne, but all of the people he is touring with who are coming to I.U.,” she said. “I wouldn’t be surprised if I got to meet him or didn’t get the chance to meet him. I’m just happy that he’s coming to I.U.”
Meredith, daughter of Plymouth teachers John and Betsy Barron, said promoting has been kind of fun, but her dream of being a physical education/health teacher is still what she wants to pursue.