Szentek Crashes The Vic

Natasha Franks reviews the launch of Szentek, a Vic night like no other.

Traditionally, Wednesday nights are reserved for sport. Socials and pub crawls unite the athletes of St Andrews on a single road to The Union, a path unchallenged since the very dawn of Sinners.

Szentek, as we have read, does not abide by tradition. Rather than playing it safe with a Thursday launch, the committee crashed The Vic this past Wednesday for an evening unlike any other. The move was a gamble for the new event; St Andrews is notoriously vigorous in its traditions, and sports teams gravitate towards Club 601 like moths to a flame. And yet, by 11:30 guests found themselves queueing for entry to the over capacity Vic.

From the moment we entered the venue, we were given a taste of how the committee plans to transform Kinkell Byre in November. Stunning artwork draped the walls, obscuring The Vic’s signature hipster graffiti. Each piece was painstakingly crafted by the committee over a period of several days, with particularly noteworthy works including a bomb by Nick Simon and a Banksy-esque banner by Andrea Yáñez-Cunningham.

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In both sound and style, the launch stood apart from its contemporaries. DJ Content (James Peel) was accompanied by newcomer DJ Payne (Matt Payne), with assistance coming from DJ Visen (Rajvir Visen-Singh). This trifecta ensured a smooth running set, despite the minor technical difficulties that dotted the first portion of the night. Guests danced to a range of music that is rarely, if ever, showcased within St Andrews, a mix as eclectic as the venue itself.

In this regard, Szentek catered to the highest common denominator, targeting the lovers of all this eccentric and untraditional. Umbrellas hung from the ceilings, and a graphic photobooth lured guests into the smoking area. For perhaps the first time, The Vic felt utterly transformed, a favourable omen for the future of the event.

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Ironically, this “underground” launch was flawed only in its popularity. Not anticipating the overwhelming demand for entrance, the committee had not prepared for the social club to open when the main bar hit capacity. While RJay Murphy worked the main room from midnight onwards, the back room was noticeably left without a DJ. Despite the setback, the spillover from the main bar made the most of the social club’s admittedly lacklustre dancefloor, their enthusiasm encapsulating the independent spirit of the night.

In the hands of such a dedicated and artistic committee, Szentek’s launch was an unprecedented success. With two months left before the main event, we can hope to see more Vic nights of Hungarian proportions.

Discounted early bird tickets can be purchased from The Vic on Monday 26th September.

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