Following their fiery opening event, the Szentek team had a lot to live up to in their flag-ship fest. Their warmer offered a glimpse of the cacophony to come yet we were all eager to see whether Szentek would pull of their main event for another year running.
Listed on the Facebook page as a ‘night of moving and grooving in a barn by the sea, nestled in the bonnie Kingdom of Fife’, this seemed as accurate, although modest, description as any. Part of the magic of Szentek is, of course, the feeling of complete incongruity, moving from the quiet streets of St Andrews, through country lanes to a ‘barn’, in the middle of a field. Yet you step in, and the world is transformed.
From the very outset you are hit by the groovy waves of the outdoor djs, Copper Coil, Wax Collective and Szentek residents, whom not even the intermittent rain could put off. Already guests were strutting their funky stuff on the dance floor, or else preparing for a night of heavy night of partying by fuelling up on the comfort food vendors outside.
A convenient cloakroom allowed guests to strip off their hot St Andrew’s winter layers to reveal various forms of garish and frequently less-than-modest garments, finally ready for the sweaty interior of the event.
Inside Kinkell lay exactly what was promised; an artistic homage to the underground bars and raves of Budapest, replete with trippy art-work and coloured rages for decoration, it was a feast for the eyes as well as the ears.
The main stage kicked off early and strong with Max Dupa b2b Neb, with Too This for That and Eclair Fifi until twelve, an awesome opener preceding Optimo, who rocked the floor from 00:00 till 02:00. From 11:00 onwards, there was never a time that the main stage wasn’t full of ardent dancers in a haze of sweat and music.
Across St Andrews’s favourite party venue lay the heavier D&B room, a crowded, claustrophobic box of sensation in which the rippling sound waves of the bass could be felt from metres away from the speakers. This room garnered many a fan amongst the party-goers, most splitting their time between the two, or else dipping out for a well-earned breath of fresh air.
When it was time for a sit-down, the organisers provided a room complete with sofas, giant cushions, and an array of vibrant digital artwork and wavy cinematic sequences that allowed the dancers to rest their weary feet whilst enjoying their surroundings, or a crepe from the indoor crepe bar.
The night was well organised and well stocked, genuinely providing, in my opinion, far more than the money’s worth of the ticket. St Andrews is often deplored for its lack of diverse events; Szentek proves year after year that the university has more to offer than black-tie events, and can go toe to toe with some of the best raves in university culture.