Biannual Creative Lock-in: Reviewed

In a dimly lit Barron Theatre, illuminated by spotlight and fairy light, the creatives gathered. The biannual creative lock-in, hosted by the Arts Society, began late Saturday evening and ran through to the twilight hours of Sunday morning (for those with the stamina). Promising a night of writing, still life, music, nudey artistry and any other tool of creativity, this event is certainly like no other.

From the gentle murmurings at 23.00, the atmosphere soon grew thick with an audience of ambitious minds, all full of ideas – or perhaps empty minds ready to be fuelled by the vibes of others. The high waisted jeans, paint-splattered Dr. Martens and the floral prints brightened the dark room. Bunting and fairy lights lined the walls – blankets and pillows the floor and a steaming pot of hot water provided for multiple cups of tea.


Soon after, the Barron filled with the sounds of the Glasgow band, ‘The Ediots.’ Led by Eddie Brook and his sailor’s cap, the band played some interesting twists on classic songs, as well as original songs in the groove rock style.
After the band packed up, music resumed in a mix of vibrant instrumentals and other upbeat mixes that kept the brain ticking.

At around 02.00 the nudey artistry began. Life drawing is a weekly event in the Barron for the Arts Society but on this occasion was held in the intimate setting of a theatre dressing room. If life drawing wasn’t your thing, multiple objects were scattered around the room – a lamp, shells, and various tree branches were available for still life drawing. These objects could be depicted in any medium – clay, watercolour or charcoal, all provided by the Arts Society.

Unfortunately, by 03.30, my eyes drew heavy – my hands struggling to make any connection between perception and line during life drawing. After moving back to the main theatre, the excitement seemed to have died down a bit however many were still at work.


The night was also a place for the creative writer. Members of Inklight came to work on poetry as well as writers putting the night hours to use in their own works. If not on paper, stories were shared out loud. Listening to people’s ideas and thoughts is something I personally love and the lock-ins provide the ideal setting for sharing.

Although not strictly a lock-in, the event still gives you the freedom to step away from the real world and put your sleeping time to better use. Fuelled by caffeine or adrenaline in the wee hours, one’s mind tends to wander to places of exploration and expression unlike any idea lit by daylight.

Coming to a university full of academic study, I feared I would miss out on an art scene. However, don’t let the drain of the library fool you – events like these make you realise St Andrews’ own undercover alty scene. Lock-ins are a fantastic way to get to get inspired by our own students, each with incredible talent away from the books.


Images sourced from Pinterest.