The Summer Party has grown. From the days of being run by a group of students with a guitar sitting on the Downs soaking up the sunshine, to the JCRs of Derby, Lincoln and Broadgate financially backing an actual ‘on campus’ festival; then being brought into the Students’ Union as a Student-Run Service. Now it is the biggest one day event in our calendar. By nature it is a crowd-pulling event and following a decision at the recent Union Council meeting it now has a management structure in place which will ensure that this event will be one to remember every year.
For those of you who have attended a Summer Party, whether standing in the rain not minding that N-Dubz are, in fact, hilariously terrible, watching the ‘substantial’ drummer of the FunLovingCriminals dive into the crowd of unsuspecting Fresher's, or immersing yourself in the ‘dense fog’ of the FireFly tent, the memories are there and they are great.
Why, when these artists can be seen anywhere (apparently N-Dubz played at the T4 Awards…. Lucky them!), is ours special? The thing that makes our Summer Party unique is our students and our campus. TEC, NUTS, URN, IMPACT and too many societies to name provide entertainment, coverage and activities to rival anything Simon Cowell could even dream of. Of course, none of it would be possible without the 8,000 students who attend.
So why am I writing this article, plugging a summer event in the depths of dreary, damp, dark winter? Things have changed. The event has outgrown its capacity to be run by an elected committee. Last year, as a Student-Run Service, the event lost the Students’ Union a massive £70,000. (To put this in perspective, there are 12,000 students involved in Societies and the funding they receive is £54,000). As a charity we cannot afford to risk this kind of loss again in the future.
The decision has been made to have Summer Party run by an event team, balancing student involvement/input with the experience and expertise of staff, and the final model is incredibly exciting. This change will, I have no doubt, lead to the best Summer Party we have ever seen. It is a model which is sustainable financially and will provide continuity. What we will have is an opportunity for a number of students to get real, concrete, quantifiable event-planning experience, students to be at the heart of the event through ticket-selling and promotion and, finally and more importantly, all students being provided with an excellent Summer Party - just what we all deserve before leaving for the Summer Holiday.
Details of how to apply to be part of the team will be available in the not-too-distant future, but until then sit back, relax and enjoy the sunshine (in your life).