On the Rocks Launch Party: Reviewed

On The Rocks is one of the best assets this town has. I say that not as someone who has any affiliations to it, but as someone who is old enough to enjoy an event with crayons AND alcohol. The OTR launch event held last night at the Rule was almost eclectic and diverse enough to give a real taste of what they have in store for us.

What I initially encountered convinced me that OTR had gone downhill since last year, and the whole programme would be disorganised, drunken debauchery. Then I realised I had actually walked in to the Tennis AGM. No offence to them, it wasn’t so bad. After moving to the correct venue I was greeted with acapella, not literally, that would be odd. The Alleycats and the Accidentals performed their musical magnificence early on. And although, I won’t deny that I was disappointed, that was because my only encounter with acapella so far has been Pitch Perfect. Acapella in that is AWESOME. If you haven’t seen it, there’s lights, and ironic dance moves, and so many mash-ups. Perhaps my expectations were a little high.


While two very talented spoken word poets spoke their words, I went upstairs to explore the local church hall-esque craft fair that was beckoning me upstairs. There were pipe-cleaners, tables covered in paper to draw on, and some paper craftingy things. And that was the moment I saw the chocolate. OTR had provided a handful of chocolates and tablet – to tie in to the heritage theme – to each table. Drawing on a table, listening to music, eating chocolate – life was good.

Life got better. The marvellous OTR team invented specially tailored cocktails for the evening entitled ‘midnight cosmo’ and ‘pink gin’. Although not inclined to drink without reason, I am also inclined to take almost anything as reason, and specially made cocktails was reason enough for me. I opted for pink gin and could really only taste sugar, but at least I couldn’t taste gin. Swanning around the bar it was evidently a very St Andrews event, with a complicated web of people all connected through only one or two degrees of separation. But as always, this meant a very friendly, open atmosphere.

To top off the evening, and transform the drab rule into a bit more of a party atmosphere, Mad Jack began to play. Their renditions of well known songs ranging from folksy Laura Marling to more dance appropriate hits really got the crowd going and kept people up, out, having fun and in the rule, of all places, until after midnight.

If this launch is anything to go by, the OTR team has got its shit together for the festival and we are all in for a treat. Although the programme went up on the screen throughout the evening, it was difficult to read but you can check it out here to begin planning out your April. And if you’re still thinking about submitting your work, there’s still a few more opportunities left…