Euan Elder

I think that the majority of St. Andrews students can agree that nights out tend to be spent looking classy at balls, or enjoying a ‘pablo’ at the union. However, St. Andrews Charity Fashion Show’s annual Starfields event breaks free from this repetition, and provides an experience like no other. The event took place on the 16th of September this year with a booming, sell-out success.

By speaking to those who had attended Starfields, I understood that one of the things people loved the most was the scope of food that was available. People were walking around holding ice cream cones; whilst others were in the middle of the dance floor with an entire pizza. Knights Kitchen’s chilli fries were definitely one of the night’s biggest successes – however, if you are as bad with spicy food as I am, I would recommend not to eat these without a drink in your other hand.

Those who attended were also making full use of the additional activities offered by the committee. From carnival games like hooking a duck to henna tattoos, everyone seemed to be having a great time with their friends. The FS merchandise available received mixed reviews: some people explained to me that they did not understand how the artistic concept of a half man/half crocodile related to the event, whereas others thought it was a really “cool” idea.

No one can disagree however on the fact that Lower College Hall became both a magical paradise with fairy-lights hanging from the marquee, and a true music festival with crazy strobe lights blasting from the stage. The lighting truly emphasised the bohemian and concert vibes that Starfields encompasses; no matter how different the two styles are, the amalgamation of them achieves an outstanding outcome.

The choice of having bean-bags lying around the stage was another unique factor that made the night extra special and more relaxed than a ball; being able to lie down and look up at the stars was magnificent. More importantly however, the seating gave your feet a rest from the continuous dancing.

An issue that arouse numerous times throughout the night was the amount of queueing that took place. Trying to get into St. Salvator’s Quad was hectic with people pushing to get in and others trying to get out. Many people were irritated by this as they stated that it had not been the same in previous years. The queueing at the bar was also a significant issue that the committee tried to avoid, but sadly did not.

During a radio interview with the committee, members had said that the 360° bar would prevent hold ups, however students were waiting to be served for at least 20 minutes near the start of the event – this could only have gotten worse. Such a large bar would understandably have seemed efficient for an event as highly attended as Starfields, but without horizontal queues it was hard for bartenders to decipher who needed to be served next.

Despite this amount of waiting, everyone who attended still had a “fantastic” and “lit” time due to the amazing music and festival concept. So many students were dressed in bohemian chic with harem pants, flower crowns and glitter from head-to-toe. Peoples’ use of colour was stylish and upbeat. It gave St. Andrews students the chance to hang up their barber jackets, and be the indie gods and goddesses they truly aspire to be.

Using both famous and student acts also made the night an extra bit special. It showed how the event was about having fun and partying before classes start in the upcoming week. A night full of techno and electronic music is something that is very different to most nights out in St. Andrews. Most DJs at the union tend not to stray away from chart music or throwbacks that should not ever be brought back again. Route 94, Bondax and Disciples were true hits of the night – they were all electrifying and explosive.

A lot of people I spoke to tended not to listen to such solely electronic music, but really enjoyed the sound. The combination of the music and lighting made the night both audibly and aesthetically pleasing. Others started to find the continuous thumping of the bass and lack of lyrics boring and repetitive. But acts like Disciples who truly livened up the crowd with well-known hits managed to cheer up those who did not like listening to such techno acts like Bondax.

Attending Starfields this year was incredible. It was a surreal experience being in the heart of a small seaside town whilst dancing to electronic and techno beats. And I do not think that anyone can deny how much more fun it is to dance in harem pants compared to tight jeans in the union… Therefore, I would whole-heartedly recommend attending Starfields to any St. Andrews student – but especially to those who love music, fashion, and dancing.