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Having never visited Heslington East before I was pleasantly surprised by the atmosphere that the campus seemed to give off even before I arrived at the concert itself. I had been concerned about transport beforehand but the amount of buses was comforting and made the whole night less stressful. First impressions were good: there seemed to be a real festival vibe about the place with many small stalls of food, games and drinks. The build-up was long but rewarding, although it was of course disappointing Vanbrugh was missing from the shout outs!
My friends and I were really looking forward to the live music and it didn't disappoint: the Pigeon Detectives seemed to quickly whip up the crowd that had been quite passive and exhausted beforehand. Their stage presence was quite striking - even with the surprise crowd-surf by lead singer Matt Bowman who managed to keep his shoes despite the audience's best attempts! The fireworks were impressive once they finally got going and kudos must be given to those who picked the playlist as someone who has listened to a lot of "club" music this week it was a pleasant relief to hear 'Let's twist again' by Chubby Checker as an alternative. It was this overkill of club music that led me back inside to see what was on offer, though I did hear the start of Shy FX's set and it seemed to keep the crowd in good spirits. Inside the festival theme continued and so did the atmosphere. I personally found it difficult to avoid the candy floss stall.
The idea of a silent disco was new to me but offered a good (and warm!) alternative to those who had had far too many late nights during Freshers' Week or just wanted something different. We moved on to what was definitely the highlight of the evening for me; the photo booth where we managed to squeeze half the flat into a very small pod with some very groovy accessories (the tiny moustache was a personal favourite). After some food and well deserved drinks we headed back out to see Katy B in full flow. There was some confusion over Katy B's set whether she would be able to continue or not due to time constraints but in the end her set was a musical climax of the evening and proved to be a hit with the whole crowd.
We departed just before the end of Katy's set, exhausted and ready for a cup of tea. As I write the aforementioned picture proudly hangs on our noticeboard in the kitchen. As for the night itself I hope it continues to grow over the coming years and attract new talent as it was a great way to celebrate the end of Freshers'. It perhaps but could have done with more varied acts, however Heslington East really proved itself the star of the show and made the perfect host for the massive fresher crowd.
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