The annual end-of-O-week party is an event that features in everyone’s diary, partly because it is, without a doubt, one of the more exciting occasions of the university year, and partly because if you’ve got one of those new 2014 ANUSA diaries it’s already printed in there. Whether you see it as a thrilling precursor to the academic year, the last remotely interesting occasion before a week spent listening to lecturers explaining each and every thing in your course guide in pitiless detail, or simply a reminder that the holidays are over and you are, once more, obliged to get up in the morning, the parties are always memorable occasions. Posters of the event endeavour to make the lineup even more memorable, with the names of the main acts – this year, Rüfüs and Bluejuice – plastered prominently over the campus.
Despite the popularity of the event, when I arrived at the Big Bang Party, shortly after seven o’clock, it was to see only a few small clusters of people scattered over the almost empty lawn. The lesser-known acts of the evening, such as The Steptones, Citizen Kay, and the Yacht Club DJs, were playing towards the beginning of the proceedings. They performed to several listlessly chatting groups and a small band of enthusiasts bracing themselves against the railings in front of the stage. It was only after it began to get dark that the rest of the keen attendees started arriving, making it there in plenty of time to hear the acts with the biggest names – Rüfüs and Bluejuice. Certainly, both bands were excellent. Bluejuice’s frankly insane amount of energy had mad masses of people washing towards the stage in tides, making colossal amounts of noise as the band jumped on top of their instruments and emptied bottles of water over the crowd. Only a little less appreciation was shown for the far less involved and relatively
lacklustre Rüfüs. However, it does seem a shame that so much enthusiasm and adoration was showered on these bands when other talented acts had performed earlier in the night to far less acclaim.
It is obviously not incredibly surprising that the success of a concert should be based largely upon people turning up to see thebest-known acts. These bands were the centre of the party, and were doubtless the key reason for most people’s attendance. All the same, it would have been nice to have seen the local acts receive slightly more attention. The entry price was, after all, fairly expensive, at least compared to the cost of tickets to the other events of the week, and it covered the entire evening. It seems strange to have been there for a little less than half of the party after having paid for the whole thing. The party celebrating the end of O-week is always greatly anticipated, almost exclusively for the invariably interesting main act of the night. While this cannot be avoided, and, for that matter, clearly shouldn’t be, it would still be nice to see more coverage of the less well-known but equally crucial acts who help to make the night what it is.
Photography by Janis Lejins