Forget Glastonbury, Campus Festival is just around the corner

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On Saturday of Week Nine this term, LUSU is hosting Lancaster University’s first ever ‘Campus Festival’ in Lancaster Square (County College).

The festival will run between 1pm and 11pm on Saturday 13th March, and the entertainment and activities are entirely free for all students, staff and graduates, providing a festival atmosphere where students can relax and enjoy themselves at the end of term before focussing on their exams.

The festival will feature a main performance stage where live entertainment from a variety of societies and groups will take place, enabling students to showcase their talents and skills. The Theatre Group, Belly-Dancing Society and Wing Chun Society are just a few of the exciting acts to watch out for, amongst others such as the Tricking Society, Glee Club and the Cheerleading Society.

Similarly to ‘Winterfest’, the Campus Festival is being hosted by LUSU, in partnership with UPP (residential services), the Lancaster Alumni Friends Programme and University Facilities. A committee of LUSU staff and students are primarily responsible for organising the event, with a huge amount of student involvement regarding ideas and the creation of the festival, as well as the logistical running of the event.

Andy Johnston, VP (FEDS), said, “I think it’s really important to have big student involvement in the running of these as events as it really shows talented and skilful students coming to the forefront of our Union. We hope it’ll continue in the future and that we’ll be able to provide a series of these events in the coming years.”

Katie Smith, president of the newly founded Glee Club, revealed that the club has a ten-minute slot on the main stage at the festival and are planning to sing several songs the club have been practising. Smith expressed excitement at the prospect, adding “We hope that this will be a great opportunity for the club to bond, and also to gain interest from other people at the festival who might not have heard about Glee Club. We are really looking forward to it.”

The Cheerleading Society are also anticipating the festival, with their all-girl and co-ed squads performing condensed versions of the routines they will be taking to the BCA University Championships 2010 later on this year.

Main stage entertainment will also include dancing from the Break-Dance and Hip-Hop, African Caribbean and Dance societies, a selection of music from various music societies and choirs and will be followed by the very best of Lancaster musical talent and bands in the evening, with a real party atmosphere in the square. Among the bands playing are ‘Boo Boo Kiddy Fonc’, ‘the Microtones’ and the ‘I Hate Rachel Green Club’.  The music promises to be wide ranging, leading from soul and acoustic sounds in the afternoon to funk rock and pop music in the evening.

The festival will climax with a spectacular finale of fireworks and a laser show accompanied by live music from the University of Lancaster Music Society (ULMS). Activities Developer Alisdair Denholm enthused, “The whole event is going to be amazing but I personally can’t wait for the fireworks and laser show at the end.” Max Stannard, speaking on behalf ULMS, feels that it will be “a great opportunity for four of our ensembles to play for students, most of whom I assume wouldn’t normally watch a concert. I’m sure the orchestra will love playing with the fireworks.”

Free buses to the Sugarhouse will also be provided for students after the fireworks in order to continue the festivities.

Running alongside events on the main stage, there will also be a range of interactive activities set up by assorted societies in tents and marquees around the square, where students are invited to join in.

Activities such as a stunt demonstration and workshop, a fashion catwalk, a real ale and cider brewing demonstration, henna painting, a large screen rock band and trampolining will be available, although the activities will change throughout the day. A range of food from around the world will also be for sale thanks to the cultural societies.

So far, the event is being predominantly promoted through the Campus Festival 2010 Facebook group where a comprehensive timetable of events on the main stage has been published.  The group is already over 1400 members strong. 

The college JCR execs are also promoting the event, and posters have begun to appear in and around the colleges. A strong turnout is expected on the day; according to Denholm, “momentum is building quickly and we are expecting it to be really busy.” Johnston added, “I really want to see a proper festival atmosphere in the later hours with people enjoying the music and fireworks at the end of the night.”

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