Although billed as a Freshers’ Week event, Starfields annually attracts scores of non-first years. It is an event that students attempt to attend every year, due to both its size and its ability to deliver on every expectation. The festival is a spectacle of sound and colour, a feast for music lovers and dancers to enjoy. This year the event underwent significant changes, both structural and aesthetic, resulting in a flawless combination of the words “music” and “festival.” Starfields has fully embraced its identity; to put it simply, it’s hard to imagine it getting any better than this.
The FS committee is known for their ability to adapt. Last year, the show was famously postponed, an unavoidable consequence of unfavourable weather conditions. The deferral gave birth to a marketing powerhouse, as over of the course of 48 hours the show underwent a miniature rebranding, complete with last minute photoshoots and taglines. This PR prowess was not lost on Starfields 2017, which handily sold out amidst high demand.
Popularity aside, the music festival has had its share of past weaknesses. Previous guests have complained of long queues and a lack of general entertainment, annoyances present at many St Andrews events. Starfields has slowly combatted these issues – beginning with last year’s elimination of a final entry time – and appears to have all but solved them for 2017.
The bar, staffed by our very own Union, marked the first notable change. Rather than winding along the Lawn’s edge, it assumed a square shape in the venue’s centre. This dispersed the crowd, creating a queue that was wide instead of long, reducing wait times and allowing for more efficient service.
Also unusual for a St Andrews event: Guests were faced with multiple food choices. La Crêperie, Knights Kitchen, and Nomad Pizza were three of the many stalls, which featured cuisines ranging from African to Italian. That said, this reviewer was invariably drawn to the omnipresent BlackHorn food truck. Known for their wraps and burgers, the fast food joint continues to embrace its element at St Andrews events.
Nearby, guests could be spotted taking their turns at a variety of carnival games, another new addition to the festival. Many hands boasted fresh henna tattoos, and other guests sported recently purchased Starfields merch. Were the music aspect of the evening completely eliminated, we would still have found no shortage of activities.
Fortunately there was plenty of music. After a strong opening set from Visen, Route 94 took the stage as the Lawn approached capacity. Ensuing sets from Bondax and Disciples kept spirits high; from 7.00 onwards the dancefloor was bursting at the seams. By the time 10.00 rolled around, we felt as though the night had barely begun. Between the lack of queueing and abundance of food and games, the only common complaint appears to have been the cold – but Scottish weather does tend to make fools of us all.
If Starfields is any indication, the FS committee has a bright year ahead of them. Held in support of the Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families, the show will likely put any competition to shame.