Campus Festival continues to be a big hit with students

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The Lash performing at Campus Fest. — Photo by Will Grisedale

Saturday of Week 19 saw LUSU host its second Campus Festival, with great success.

The day’s events began at 1pm and attracted a large range of people. Many students brought their parents along to the festival, and it was also a great success with future students at the University on an open day who also attended.

LUSU Events Coordinator James Marenghi deemed the festival as “the very best student bands and societies that Lancaster has to offer”. People were kept entertained by the face painting that the Welsh Society supplied.

This year there were two stages, meaning “we could keep people entertained during stage changeovers that inevitably take a while” said Marenghi. He went on to say “the key to this was down to all the performance groups being so flexible and accommodating and the student coordinators being so well organised”.

The festival kicked off with musical performances from the Wind Band and Swing Groups, both ensembles of the University of Lancaster Music Society (ULMS). Second year student Holly Sutton thought that the performances were a “very relaxing start to the day”.

Lancaster University Glee Club followed swiftly afterwards on the smaller stage with  renditions of classics.
More ensembles from ULMS performed throughout the day on both stages, including the Big Band, Brass Band, Brass Quintet, Trombone Club, and Symphony Orchestra. The ULMS choir along with the Gospel and Pentecostal choirs were also included in the line-up.

Amongst the student bands that performed were The Lash and Tailored to Fit, who both made it to the finals of Beach Break Live’s Battle of the Bands. Robert McHugh, the drummer in The Lash, said that he “really enjoyed the main stage” describing the atmosphere as “laidback, really nice, and enjoyable”. Craig Smith, the bassist in Tailored to Fit, thought that the festival was “a great showcase of great bands and acts.”

“New talent is springing up everywhere” he continued, “and with the ever increasing popularity of live music on campus it’s events like this that help present such great talent.” Fellow band mate and guitarist, Richard Jenkins, added that he thought “the crowd was brilliant”.

A variety of acoustic performances were also showcased, from acts such as OMG Small Guitars, Jess French, and Ollie Gaskell, who said he “really enjoyed playing and being involved in the festival”. He went on to say that “it was really well organised with a good mix of everything” and thought that it was “a great way to spend a Saturday”.

Complementary to the musical performances, there were also many dance acts, including routines from LUDanS recent show Third Edge. LUBells, the Lancaster University Belly Dancing Society and the Lancaster University Ballroom Dancing Society also took to the stages, along with the Hip Hop and Breakdance Society and the Cheerleading Society. Third year Kate McKeown said she “really enjoyed the performance from the Hip Hop and Break dance society” and “wished that they could have performed for even longer.”

LUSU President Robbie Pickles, commented that he was “thrilled to see so much energy and passion from such a diverse range of student groups” and looks “forward to seeing it [Campus Festival] take place again next year”. Third year Matthew Power agreed, enthusing that it was “great to see all the societies showcasing the vast array of talent our students have to offer”.

Along with the performances, many societies hosted stalls where people could partake in various activities throughout the day, from playing Rock Band to cake decorating. People could also test their skills with the Boxing Society or join in with the Trampoline Society, and attendees were kept sustained by the large array of food stalls from various cultures, including Chinese food, bratwurst, and a frequent caterer for Lancaster events, The Pancake Man.

The day was not just about showcasing student talent, the festival also took part in charity fundraising. There was a stall set up for Barnardo’s children’s charity and representatives from LUSU, including Pickles, spent the day collecting money for the Japan Tsunami Appeal.

The evening wrapped up with the ULMS orchestra accompanying a stunning fireworks display. Second year Grace Fitzpatrick felt “that LUSU had outdone themselves once again with another spectacular finish” and “hopes that the festival becomes an annual fixture”.

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