By: Euan Brownlie
“Selling 1 VIP Elaga ticket, price negotiable”
For weeks, posts of this nature saturated St Andrews students’ social media feeds, prompting inevitable questions about the new event’s success and causing some to wonder if it would even go ahead at all. However, come 7th April on a typically drizzly Scottish Saturday, about a thousand members of the public made their way to Craigtoun park, to two-step away from their deadlines and see if it had been worth the hype.
The venue was a nice change from normality and there is undoubtedly something special about dancing outside, surrounded by greenery. There was an undeniable drainage issue, and the quagmire that came from all the foot traffic, gave it some rustic charm. Some people were unhappy with the level of mud but I suppose if you’re going to dance outside in Fife, it’s an occupational hazard and was probably, if nothing else, a novelty for much of the clientele.
While the layout of the event proved pleasing, the location was problematic, situated about 3 miles from the town. The free taxis to the event didn’t appear to exist and the return bus service was so infrequent that many attendees were forced to walk home or get taxis, adding further cost to what had already been a very expensive day. The official after party involved a voyage to Dundee, that realistically most people weren’t going to make, especially when there was no transport provided. However, the event itself proved fun and it was a shame it had to end when it did; there can be no denying that, by whatever means people left, they did so in good spirits.
On to the music; crowd pleasing EDM was the main order of business from Codeko and Sigala and there can be no denying the positive energy as people bopped to the beat, enjoying some bassy relief from the bubble. It’s always good to see student DJs opening an event, but the inclusion of Wes Walker puzzled some; Soundcloud rap has never had a massive presence in St Andrews and the cost to bring him over from the other side of the Atlantic perhaps could have been redirected toward any of an infinite number of talented UK artists. Nevertheless, Rudimental’s set was great; while not quite going back to their roots and my hazy recollection of a Drake song being dropped, their popular spin on Drum and Bass accompanied by their fantastically talented trumpeter was a great way to close out the day.
The sound system was good; it could have been louder but the sound quality was great – this appeared to be a blessing in disguise for guests in the adjacent VIP tent. This smaller tent was warm and homely, the bar didn’t seem too expensive and the free cigarettes were certainly smoked. It was nice to see local acts take the centre stage here, providing live entertainment for the guests and a great showcasing of some of the student talent in this town. One of the more confusing parts of the day were all the jazzy extra activities and additions. There can be no denying the novelty of a total wipe out or laser tag at and event but for a day festival it’s not totally necessary. Especially when their use is not included in the price of an already expensive ticket, many guests would rather save the £3 for the impressive pick n mix stall, or a drink at the bar.
It certainly is another expensive addition to the social calendar and one could argue that more premium priced events is the last thing KY16 needs, but all in all, Elaga provided a lot of what can be expected from a student run event in St Andrews, a quirky location, popular music and a good crowd of people.
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