It’s finally back again – my favorite Kinkell Byre-based event in St Andrews. Szentek has returned for its third year in a row to the famed St Andrews venue and promises to get people dancing any way they can.
On Thursday 15 November, the somewhat rave-themed event celebrates yet another successful year which will inevitably be sold out when the night comes.
With past decorations including giant posters of peace signs and a rather detailed painting of Donald Trump and Hilary Clinton kissing (something that has been forever burned into my brain and, to be honest, haunts my dreams), it’s a mystery as to how the room will be decorated this year. They have a classic electric atmosphere that they have to live up to, and what eclectic marvels aren’t displayed in the room will be displayed in one of the two music rooms which promise to have different vibes, depending on what mood you’re in. If you’re feeling spacey and relaxed one will suit you, while if you’re more wired and ready to mosh the other room will work for you.
This year’s Szentek line-up boasts some impressive bookings. Carefully curated by Szentek’s Musical Directors, the acts reflect an assemblage of musical trends representative of current UK club culture in order to ensure a night which guests of all tastes will enjoy. Kornél Kovács, the house powerhead recently dubbed one of Mixmag’s top 20 DJs in the world, will top this year’s bill, along with acclaimed New Zealand duo, Chaos in the CBD, and Dundee funk favourites Jute City Jam (who are playing a very special set accompanied by live saxophone act, Theo Jobst). The more intimate Room 2 will host Ziplock (from Edinburgh’s Shapework), Allison, and Tom Williams, whilst the newly introduced Room 3 will host popular student DJs: Wax Collective, Disco Volante, as well as Szentek’s own residents.
The changing atmosphere in St Andrews nightlife taking place in recent years has assisted Szentek’s swift success. The 2018 director, now in his final year in St Andrews, has observed a tangible transformation in the events scene over his four years at university: “The town’s atmosphere has come on leaps and bounds from the start. Like-minded people have brought an energy to St Andrews, a place with ‘nothing on’, and decided to do something about it. Student run music collectives – such as Wax Collective, Bpm, and Szentek – have managed to animate ideas with the abundance of creative talent we have here to shed light on genres and scenes which previously went unrepresented. Now there is a whole new dynamic to events here. As much as they have their place, we don’t have to be only ballgowns and fashion shows.The reaction is so refreshing”.
Following on from 2017’s success, Szentek now aim to assert an even more inclusive presence in the St Andrews student community. Szentek’s residency at the hugely popular ASHA-powered Kingpin nights at the Vic, as well as a frequency of smaller-scale launch parties throughout the semester, has consolidated the transformation of Szentek from an annual event to a widely integrated music collective.
Recent collaborations with student societies in the form of workshops and competitions – such as the Filmmakers’ Society and Art Society – aim to involve students outside of the committee with the event, to make the final experience more encompassing and offer a platform for people to showcase their creative ideas to a wider audience. Always looking for fresh ideas, Szentek are keen for people to reach out if they have anything to offer or suggest.
And, as always, you can party knowing your money is going to a good cause. In particular this year the money raised from the event goes towards Variety Scotland, a disabilities specific charity that helps to provide special equipment such as wheelchairs and buses to children who otherwise wouldn’t be provided with them. So although final release tickets are a bit pricey at £35 each, at least you know the money is doing some wider good.
Szentek is certainly one of those societies that reward loyal customers, with Trust ticket holders getting in for £10 less than final release. How did you get these trust tickets you ask? Well by attending their earlier events and being one of the first to sign up to attend. Seems simple enough and serves brilliantly to reward those who have been with the society from the beginning, something that is surprisingly refreshing for a St Andrews event.
Overall I am more than hyped for this event. The music, as always, will be the star of the show and I don’t doubt that I and many others will spend the night dancing away to the best tracks. Scoop up a ticket while you can as there are a limited amount of them left, and I’ll see you Thursday night.