So here we are at the end of the year! Whilst everyone else knows the routine, for freshers it’s been a sad week of packing up and saying goodbye. In between this however, in true Wessex fashion the JCRs of Monte, Connaught, Archer’s Road, Orion’s Point and Private rented have teamed up once again to send us off in style with WADE (Wessex All Day Event).
The day (which began at 12) was sadly not graced with the copious amounts of sun that Glen Eyre enjoyed the day before at SHADE, but for the first few hours rain held out and everyone was enjoying themselves.
As I wrestled off the duvet and stumbled out into the early, 11:30am morning light, I caught the scent of the event’s burger van and was slowly drawn across from Monte to Connaught’s Old Quad. As I got to the bus stop it was obvious that the mini festival had started up as I heard the live music swing into action. Going through the big stone archway I was given my wristband and was impressed with how festively it was, none of the usual sticky paper rubbish: a definite keepsake! The Quad was full of things to do, there was the live music from the main stage which had great variety throughout the day as I heard covers, indie music, acoustic sets and it was nice to finally hear some heavy metal in Soton.
There was also an abundance of bouncy stuff: The huge obstacle course saw a lot of people in the first hour, whilst things such as the elastic-running-thing-with-Velcro-bags and the Bull where two challenges constantly being taken up. There were a couple of classic stalls too for those a little too hung-over to bounce, with the Boiler House’s own Oli Coles manning a Pimms stall, a ‘guess the number of sweets in the jar’ stall and the ever-popular face-painting stall that had a queue all day!
Perhaps the most unique part of the day’s entertainment was the FREE Shisha tent next to the Bar. The guys running it were fantastic, happy to get you whichever flavour you wanted from the choice of apple, mint, vanilla and passion fruit (or just ‘passion’ for the girls) and were always on hand to show seasoned and non-seasoned smokers alike how to blow smoke rings; “open your mouth and cough a little bit” is a line I’m sure everyone there on the day will remember for future use!
Sadly the day events ground to a close as the rain starting pouring and the police began arriving and raiding some of the blocks and everyone bunkered down either in the warmth of the Bar or back in their blocks until the night event.
Everyone was fairly jolly for the night’s entertainment in the JCR room and the DJ’s sets were amazing: I’ve never seen the room as packed on any other event. Not quite Jesters music, but WADE managed to tap into a pop-dance vibe that is usually more commonly found in Bedford Place. The Wideboys were the headline act of the night and, although not as well known as Rudimental who played at Shade, the audience had just as warm a reaction. And the night was a success!
Overall the event was a great day out, but my main problem with it was the price. Rumour has in that the budget for WADE was £10,000 and my biggest question as I left the event was “where exactly did the money go?’ Tickets were £15 which was fairly expensive for students, even at an all day event and perhaps next year some of the money would have been better spent making the tickets more reasonable and possibly bribing the sunshine out!