Szentek: A Kaleidoscopic Night
Hannah Shiblaq reviews the art and music collective's bi-annual event.
On 17 November, Szentek hosted its highly anticipated 7th bi-annual techno extravaganza. It lasted approximately from 8pm to 2am: six hours of “soul-shaking sound, mouth-watering video, sustainable art installations and many more surprises” which delivered upon the promises made by their Facebook page.
Indeed, prior to the night Szentek ensured thorough self-promotion via social media. The day before the event, Szentek even announced a giveaway on Instagram. To enter, users reposted the account’s posts on their stories, spreading the word to help make Szentek one of the most widely-promoted events of the semester.
The night began with a very crowded, very rainy bus queue along South Street, where club-attire wearing students crowded onto the buses headed for the venue ten minutes along the Fife Coastal Path to Falside Mill.
Buses began their departures at 8pm, with the last one leaving at 9:45. With this early departure time, some unlucky albeit tardy guests ended up having to pay for their own taxis, but fortunately the short trip didn’t make for too costly of a fare.
Upon arrival, the thundering beats could be heard from outside the venue, providing sufficient anticipation for the night ahead. Falside Mill’s labyrinthine layout, complete with a variety of dance rooms, insisted upon an eventful evening of changing scenery.
The main room included the stage on one side and the bar on the other. Wonderfully however, the room also provided resting spaces - affectionately coined ‘Cuddle Puddles’ and complete with beanbags and lounging cushions - just one of many things which set Szentek apart from other clubbing events of the year.
Even as the rain endlessly beat down, event-goers made their way outside to the marquee clubbing space. Adorned with string lights and surrounded by space heaters, people crowded around the DJ booth both to avoid the weather’s coldness and to better hear the intensity of the music.
The other rooms, despite being much smaller, provided a sense of jumping intimacy. Even if you stood opposite from the DJ’s stand, you could feel your skin vibrating in tandem with the blares.
The night promised an impressive troupe of DJs as well, hailing from a variety of locations: from as far away as London to the closer Dundee. The lineup consisted of Angel D’Lite, Comrade Massie, Miss Cabbage, Corran, and duo X Club.
The music definitely was intended for dancing, with minimal lyricism and irresistible flows of rhythm. Despite moments of fast-paced jumping up and down, there were also more chilled moments which allowed for a chance to catch your breath, with slower beats and less kinetic energy.
To add to the techno, psychedelic energy of the night, Falside Mill was decorated wall to wall with artwork, ranging from hanging pieces to white banners scrawled with clever phrases and flashing colours. This added to the night’s ideal ambiance, almost giving the feel of dancing your way to a distant planet in an elaborately decorated spaceship.
In the true spirit of a rave, guests dug out their most colourful and eccentric wardrobe staples to fit right in with the geometric lazer light formations and hallucinatory artwork on the walls.
Additionally, while Szentek hosted over 800 guests, some hailing from Dundee as well as St. Andrews, the event didn’t feel incredibly overwhelming, allowing for a more relaxed take to the usual overstimulation of a traditional night out.
All in all, Szentek provided its classic artistic twist on clubbing, with its ambient artwork, enticing music, and unique venue. It’s undoubtedly one of St. Andrews' more creative events that’s not to be missed.
Photo: Hannah Shiblaq