The Lumsden Club Secret Garden Party : Reviewed

Let me start by saying, having heard reviews from friends last year about SGP I was a little apprehensive about going. I needn’t have been. The night begun with an excited crowd of boho clad students, being whisked away on a school type bus to the Cambo estate. Greeted by two live cows, fairy lights and free crisps (thanks to Piper’s, a very well chosen sponsor in my view) I knew I was in for a good night.

The location was absolutely beautiful, and felt more special being outside of the bubble. We were driven through tree-lined roads, to be let off at a beautiful house with strings of fairy lights, and atmospheric purple and blue hued lighting on trees adorned with dream catchers, which lead the way to the yurt. It really did feel like we’d entered some kind of magical world. The yurts had benched seating areas, and tables covered with candles and flowers, with flower garlands being sold- in short it was a tumblr user’s idea of heaven. A rustic style photo booth, with the Secret Garden Party logo made for a fun entrance. Drinks were also cheap, any coke mixer was £2.00, thanks to the Lumsden girls incredibly managing to have Coke as a sponsor.

Down another path out of the wooded yurt area and into a field, was the main marquee, which housed the music and main bar (there were two bars, well stocked and well staffed- no hours of waiting a la Star Fields). In the field there was also a Bratwurst van (yum) and ‘Thistly pong’, beer pong but posh and with a drink that’s actually tasty.

The Lumsden’s club’s decision to go for mainly live music, made the event really unique, especially because the bands were all made up of St Andrew students. The first band ‘ Milk and Honey’ involved a singing duo, a bass guitarist, cello, violin and cajón (a drum kit but in box form). Their’s was the kind of sound you would want to fall asleep to on a summer’s day. They were a lovely steady band, (although maybe slightly too soporific as openers!) with grass root festival vibes abounding, (guitarist without shoes in tow- oh SO festival). The second band and the headliners, ‘ Blues Society’ were like a new age Johnny Cash with a lead bass guitarist, singer and cajon player and they created an absolutely electric atmosphere. Everyone was dancing and singing along to Bob Dylan, Elvis and the like. Special mention must go to the electric guitarist whose riffs were incredible. A strong stage chemistry and banter within the group was also really enjoyable to watch. Last of the night was Chris MacRae, and Alasdair Todd spinning the decks, playing lots of good sing along tunes. This point of the night was actually a particular personal highlight, as I lived out my dream of dancing behind the decks with one of my pals.

One of the Lumsden girls, Catherine Hicks had also done a great set DJ’ing earlier on in the night. That sense of the Lumsden committee taking responsibility for every aspect of the event was really evident throughout the night. You could tell they really cared, whether it was through their attention to detail of the aesthetic of the night or their carefully selected bands. Sophie, a second year Lumsden member emphasized this sentiment, as ‘everyone in the club helped set up and once the event was over, dismantled all the decorations’. The chosen charities for the Lumsden Club this year are Fife Women’s Aid, for mothers and children who have been victims of domestic abuse and Dolam House, Namibia which looks after children and mothers with HIV and AIDS. The charities reflect the Lumsden Club’s desire to support women from all over. It’s a shame that Varsity happened to be on the same weekend, meaning there were less people than there should have been, but I was truly impressed and only hope that next year the crowds match the caliber of the event!