As I sit here writing this preview, I’m acutely aware of the fact that as a fourth year, my time in our beloved little bubble is coming all too quickly to an end. As such, I plan to spend the next few months ticking off all the remaining items on my St Andrews bucket list (finally play some golf, climb St Rule’s Tower, step on the PH, etc). There are a few things that appear on my list two, three, or four times however, because I simply couldn’t get enough of them. Under Canvas is one of those things. The other 649 people who came last year will agree: there’s nothing else like it.
St Andrews’ one and only music festival will be taking over St Mary’s Quad once again on April 25th, bringing back that eclectic mix of music, color, and atmosphere, not to mention its unique location. Head of press Jonathan Gibb explains that Under Canvas is the only event held in St Mary’s, the perfect place to cultivate an evening that hits the spot between music festival and garden party. Last year’s event had all the elements of a big name festival (not to mention the musical talent) combined with a more intimate and relaxed vibe. (Also, St Mary’s = no buses!) It’s the perfect storm for an unforgettable evening, but anyone who has been before doesn’t need convincing. And if you haven’t been, Jonathan says, get out here and try something new!
The event has come quite a long way since its origins as the Masquerade Ball in 2009, but one thing that hasn’t changed is its commitment to the Cystic Fibrosis Trust. All profits from the event itself will be donated directly to the CF Trust, who conduct world-class research, promote clinical excellence, and help patients access life-changing treatment. The event has already raised over £20,000 for the CF Trust, and the Under Canvas committee is working more closely with the organization this year in order to increase their focus on education. Watch this space if you want to learn more about CF, treatment, and how to support loved ones affected by the disease.
In addition, Under Canvas is also applying for charitable status, a very exciting development which, among other things, will allow for increased national coverage of the event and increased awareness for the CF Trust. With an endorsement from Principal Louise Richardson, a sleek new website, and a hyper-organized press campaign that will soon be making social media buzz with excitement, it’s all geared up to be a highly successful night. Keep an eye on their Facebook page for updates about the upcoming launch party, and for soon-to-be-released details about the highly anticipated musical acts.
Music is definitely the highlight and one of the core elements of Under Canvas. Co-directors Sophie DeFries and Immy Guest agree that they’re most looking forward to the lineup. So much incredible music was packed into one night in 2014 (see: Anushka, Ossie, XXXY, and Lights on the Mountain) that the problem this year is more about following that up! A very good problem to have if you ask me, and one which I’m sure will be solved by what Jonathan describes as the “incredibly fun, laid back, and enthusiastic bunch” that comprise the committee. “The fun we’re having putting this event together will really show through on the night. We’re not afraid to get weird.” A “creative and incredibly committed group,” they’re excited to provide another fantastic platform for talented new artists and a memorable evening for the easygoing crowd that seems to be attracted to Under Canvas year after year.
When asked to describe Under Canvas in three words, Sophie and Immy responded with “Electric, unique, and unforgettable,” and “One great night.”
Photos courtesy of Lightbox