If any of you were wondering what that strange sound was last night coming from the direction of 1 Golf Place, it was the sound of Under Canvas 2015 officially kicking off. For £3, we got a small but very sweet taste of what to expect on April 25th. If you missed out, be sure to get yourself to ticket sales because if last night was any indication, it will undoubtedly be a night to remember.
The evening kicked off at 10pm with a fantastic set from SAUNIT. So good, in fact, that even I was out there on the dance floor with my two left feet and lack of coordination. By 10:30 the dance floor and bar were full and by 11:00 it was so crowded that you could barely walk across the room. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen a launch party so jam-packed, so well done to the Under Canvas committee; the word is clearly out! Up next after SAUNIT was Soul Patch, another incredible but very different act, in keeping with the Under Canvas tradition of bringing in a diverse group of brilliant musicians.
Mind-blowing music aside, the launch party also reflected the kind of vibe you can expect on the night, which will be decidedly relaxed, laid back, and friendly. I think it’s pretty clear how Under Canvas hits that perfect note: their committee has a structure and a vision unlike any other. Co-director Sophie DeFries and Head of Charity Oli Clayton agree that it’s a commitment to the Cystic Fibrosis Trust that brings their committee together. Under Canvas has supported the charity since the event’s inception in 2009, which Sophie says is “incredibly inspiring, because we get to see the effects of what we’re doing, where the funds are going, how they’re helping people and giving them hope.” Head of Press Jonathan Gibb added, “CF is quite a big problem in Scotland in particular, and there’s no cure so our main goal really is raising funds to fuel research.”
It’s that dedication to a common goal that brings the Under Canvas committee together both as co-organizers and as friends. “I wasn’t handed down a job or a set of tasks. I was welcomed into a family that cares deeply about one another and about the cause that unites all of us,” Oli explains. “The student who founded the event is still on our Facebook page. He’s always commenting and checking in, seeing how we’re doing. Which is wonderful because even though myself and most of the committee at this point didn’t know the founders well, it still feels like we have a personal connection to them and to the charity.”
Sophie agrees: “We definitely have ‘alumni’ you could say. You don’t just plan a party and forget about it; it’s not something you just do for a few months and then move on. It stays with you.”
There you have it. Under Canvas is a music festival with big dreams and an even bigger heart. Don’t miss your chance to play a small part in the story of this amazing event and contribute to the life-changing work behind it.
Pictures courtesy of Hannah Jeffrey.