The Saint: What can people who go to Rasputin’s Circus expect to see?
Xan Wood: The Kinkell Byre is one of the best event spaces I have ever seen. The main part of this is the fact that it’s something of an empty shell. This means that it is completely up to whoever is throwing the event to decide what to do with it. We really want to focus on creating a unique experience for those that come on the night. The aim here is going to be to try and transform the whole place into something completely different to what students are used to, especially as most people have attended something at the venue.
TS: Where did the idea come from?
XW: We love to throw parties and Rasputin’s Circus is an opportunity to throw one of our largest, most decadent events to date!
TS: Why Rasputin?
XW: Grigori Rasputin is an extremely controversial historical character. He was born in Siberia in the middle of nowhere – an unknown peasant. Yet he was somehow able to gain access to the most powerful people in Russia: the Tsar and his family. He was, undoubtedly, a very disturbed individual. However, our event is not inspired by his wrongdoings; rather, we are focusing on a small subsection of his life, and that is his parties. He threw enormous events and these affairs were the stuff of legends. So the name ‘Rasputin’ is not so much about the man or his acts, but is focused on the word ‘party’ and our interpretation of it. It’s our belief that these should be on a large scale with an emphasis on production and the experience which you are left with. That is really where the idea for Rasputin came from, not the man himself but just the idea of what we want parties to be like.
TS: You’ve said Rasputin’s Circus “will take clubbing to the next level”. What do you mean by that?
XW: We are aiming to recreate the full nightclub experience in St Andrews and try to add our own special touches. It’s our belief that a fun night is one where the little things all come together to create a unique feeling for all those who attend. An example of this is a party we threw in a climbing centre for Halloween, where there was a juxtaposition between the dance floor [and the] huge climbing walls.
TS: How was the planning process?
XW: The first step was talking to people in St Andrews and seeing if they would be interested in something like Rasputin’s Circus. The response was overwhelmingly positive. From there, it has been a really fun and rewarding experience organising different aspects of the event, from organising the sound and lighting to liaising with the police. However, the greatest reward has been meeting many wonderful St Andrews students.
TS: Do you foresee Rasputin’s Circus becoming a regular event in the St Andrews social scene?
XW: I would love for there to be many more Rasputins. We have a lot of things in the pipeline and if the event gets a good response… we will definitely do more. The main thing we want to do is make each event unique; this could be anything from a famous DJ to a completely different approach to the décor.