Its 11pm, the once picturesque downs have been transformed into a sea of Carling cans and discarded picnics as a mass exodus walks off into the night. The swamp of rubbish will be painstakingly cleared up and removed, but memories of an amazing day at Summer Party will not be so easily discarded.
It seems almost ironic that on the day, Mother Nature provided a very typical British festival mixture of weather to boot. The glorious sunshine at the start of the day – which ensured everyone was overly hopeful and under-dressed – was immediately replaced with quick frets of wind and rain. However, providence proved on the side of Nottingham University’s Summer Party in the end and there was more sunshine than not.
Aside from praying for good weather, the determination of the Summer Party team to provide a diverse mix of music proved successful in their hope to appeal to everyone’s tastes. To implement this they incorporated the contrasting tents of both Detonate and Crisis vs. Ocean. While it would be fair to say that the Crisis vs. Ocean tent was not exactly rammed throughout the day, the Detonate Tent was very much a success, with the devoted Detonate lovers dancing incessantly throughout the afternoon and into the night. Particular highlights came with Danny Byrd and Mista Jam DJ sets, which provided a more than a healthy supply of dubs and drops, proving to everyone that Summer Party has more to offer than just Example.
Music however, was not the only thing Summer Party had to offer. From the bucking-bronco to the dodgems and dance-off stands to human bowling, the entertainment on the downs alone would have been more than enough to satisfy many of the students who, in a state of childlike post-exam delirium, entered into the spirit of Summer Party wholeheartedly having been finally freed from Hallward imprisonment. With an impressive mid-afternoon performance from NU Dance, the talent of Nottingham Uni students was celebrated and despite the fact the Fancy Dress Parade wasn’t “quite up to the standard of Rio Carnival” (as tweeted by one of our Impact followers), the inclusion of the parade added a colourful addition to the day.
As for the main stage acts, the afternoon bands were largely faced by a friendly – but it would be fair to say – relatively hung-over crowd, casually lounging in the sun slowly convincing themselves that the lurking Friday night hangover should be embraced with a ‘hair of the dog’ strategy, in a way only students know how! It was a shame that the majority of Summer Party goers were not initially as keen to get involved as very good, if albeit quite tranquil performances, from up and coming bands such as The Book Club and Giant Steps, fell on largely deaf ears. A surprising point of the day came with Dutty Moonshine, who were the first main stage act to ignite the crowd – although this may have had more to do with the fact that by this point in the late afternoon, hangovers were decidedly being fuelled by more alcohol. This was demonstrated during the Feeder set, as one crowd member was inadvertently dragged out by his friends.
The Feeder performance was the point in the day when Summer Party truly arrived with aplomb. The sun was now blazing and there was a wave of euphoric head banging to Feeder classics, establishing how the festival feeling had by this point well and truly asserted itself over Summer Party goers. Further raucous reactions from the audience to the Pendulum DJ set continued that good vibe feeling, before Example finally took to the stage to end the day. Questions as to whether or not he really had enough in the bag to deserve a second consecutive appearance were largely dispelled. A good number of people did not decide to skip his performance and those who remained certainly seemed to enjoy themselves.
Amidst the Guantanamo Bay prisoners, the tigers and morph suits, the general feeling from the crowd was that of simply a great day out, and conveniently for those in halls, just several metres away. Bill Knight (Rutland fresher) commented that “Probably the best feature of the day was the general ambiance and feel good vibe”. While Norris King (Sherwood fresher) professed that Summer Party has “Everything you need in one space. Dodgems, bands and booze.”
While it could be said that the general atmosphere of the day was greatly aided by the end of exams feeling, Summer Party provides an excellent environment with which to celebrate all our hard work over the year. It brings everyone at Nottingham together like no other event and with the aid of some good music, a few social drinks and a splattering of sunshine; it seems hard to see how people did not enjoy themselves. At the end of the day, irrespective of fiscal failings or past mistakes, Summer Party is a great feature of Nottingham University and we should embrace it and not reject it.
Jack Gilbert and Rebecca Hutter