For a non-sporty St Andrews girl, I was intrigued to hear of an arts inspired event happening on a Wednesday night. When a friend asked if I was interested in the collaboration between Passport and Capture Collective my honest response was to ask who these organisations were! Nevertheless the promotional post link to the Giorgio Moroder remix of Eurythmics’ “Sweet Dreams” was enough to get me interested. Not much more persuasion was needed once I saw that the tickets were £3 (or £5 on the door). For me, this seemed more than reasonable given that 601 entry is normally a similar cost.Heading over at around 11pm I walked into the Rule and was greeted by an empty dance floor. However, unlike the fear I am filled with upon a usual entrance to a dead 601, the atmosphere of the event felt like it was worth sticking around. This atmosphere I refer to was created by the two essential elements of this collaboration: art and music. One cheap drink later (the Rule’s student saver card is absolutely worth it) and the venue started filling up. The event was looking promising.
I think that knowing via Facebook that Fixr in Main Bar severely lack. To better understand the event it is necessary to briefly explain the two organisations behind it. Capture Collective describes itself as “an arts based initiative promoting access to and engagement with creative opportunities”. Founded in 2018 by two undergraduates, they value the concept of inclusivity in art and support the accessibility of creative expression. Their debut event in 2018 was in University Hall and I have heard it was received well. Having done my research, I understand they have an upcoming exhibition in Dundas Street Gallery, Edinburgh, titled “The Armenian Dream” which runs from the 6 to 7 April.
The art at this event certainly added to its unique mood. Draping the painted sheets across the walls of the Rule transformed the venue, giving it a very different feel to the usual décor. In terms of the art itself, there was quite the range of depictions: a personal favourite being the figure of a naked woman with the head of a duck. This was fitting given the events theme was “Bodies Empowered”. I believe that the mix of all these works characterised the ethos of the initiative as accessible to anyone. Passport describes itself much more casually as a group of friends looking to bring good music to town — this description seems quite accurate.
Having hosted events previously at the Rule and at Aikmans, the crowd of support has increased each time. Previous themes have included Orbit, Interstellar and the recent Alliance event which saw Passport, Szentek and Bassment host a night at The Vic. Having five different sets throughout the night felt like we were being treated to such a range of talent. As with many events, live music was at the heart of this success. The St Andrews music scene is fantastic, however, I have always sensed a gap in the market for events with typical “disco” mixes. It was early tracks like ‘Sister Sledges’ ‘He’s The Greatest Dancer” and “Lost In Music”, which pushed more people onto the dance floor. Perhaps this music isn’t for everyone, however, similarly to Szentek it offers a niche which creates a crowd in which you can feel people have shared tastes. Given this appreciation for Passport’s DJs, people were not holding back on the dance floor. If you were looking to dance on a mid-week night out, this was the event for you. If criticisms were to arise, perhaps some would feel that this event attracted a somewhat exclusive and artistic crowd.
However, my experience showed to me that the art and music only served to create an atmospheric evening, where dancing and enjoying the event was shared by all attendees. I would argue that a DJ without a niche, who is set to serve several music tastes doesn’t make anyone feel more “included”. If anything, an eclectic mix can be fragmented and create an awkwardness to the dancefloor. This event saw quite the opposite as the Passport DJs kept the crowd moving and grooving on the dance floor flawlessly. In terms of the venue, I think the Rule served its purpose excellently. It certainly felt more intimate than Main Bar; the main space acted well as a centre for dancing with the mezzanine platform facilitating an area for conversation, and people watching! When the event was in full swing it was clear the event organisers had got the capacity spot on.
The venue struck the perfect balance of busy enough to fill the dance floor whilst not being so crammed that people struggled to move. By the time the night was over at 2am, ticket holders’ satisfaction was prolonged by the infamous Shawarma House welcoming us with open doors straight opposite the Rule. Thus given my experience I am astounded that the event was only £3. I struggle to understand how this covered the costs, especially given that the Rule was under exclusive hire. Perhaps this goes to show the financial gains of hosting anywhere other than Kinkell Byre — however, this event was of course not attempting to house up to 2000 people! This price has got to be worth it for me: skip the extra drink at the union and head to a more selective event which supports two fantastic student-run organisations.