An art historian could quote you an essay by Harold Rosenberg. A budding philosopher could counter with a line from Plato’s Aesthetics. And who can say that one is right and one is wrong? Art—something that is simultaneously obvious and indefinable—connotes a different meaning to each who considers it. And as the deadline for applying to On The Rocks 2018 approaches, it is an idea you should consider in earnest.
The image in your mind might be a phalanx of black-clad musicians, lips pursed as they wait for the signal from their conductor. It might be a cellar bar, one woman perched on a stool, a language of love and loneliness projected into the crowd. It might be both of these. Or better yet, neither. (In which case, let us know immediately.) St Andrews’ On The Rocks festival has the strength of an orchestra, the passion of a one-woman show, and the creativity of a student body that covers itself in shaving foam with a rather un-collegiate punctuality. This local strain of eccentricity is what fuels OTR, and what earns it the status of the largest student-run arts festival in the UK. Last year the programme incorporated over 40 events, but as 2018 marks the festival’s 10th anniversary, the new roster guarantees to be bigger and bolder than before.
For ten days each year, On The Rocks is St Andrews in microcosm, a hive of energy and diversity with every medium on display, including comedy, theatre, creative writing, fashion, food, dance, photography, and more. Those responsible for engineering the festival see this variety as proof of art’s widespread importance and are determined to make art accessible to every person in St Andrews.
‘What we want to do this year,’ says Benjamin Osugo, OTR’s Head of Programming, ‘is extend the notion of a traditional arts festival. We want to show the creativity present in all societies.’ Every individual, group, and society in town is encouraged to propose their own event. No idea is too big, too small, or too peculiar, and the festival committee wants to hear them all.
The deadline to submit an event application is midnight on Sunday, 19 th November. Osugo holds weekly office hours from 3-5 pm on Wednesdays in the Union Main Bar, and all applicants should come along at least once in order to develop their ideas.The form can be found online at ontherocksfestival.com/copy-of-venues.
Why not help On The Rocks continue to represent St Andrews through its accessibility and diversity?