It’s one of the most secretive and exclusive events of the year and takes months of planning, but the 9th June saw Spotify’s Secret Social go ahead with virtually no spoilers!
As the name suggests, the event is completely secretive. All that is known is that there will be some sort of party somewhere in the UK, where Spotify lay on free drinks, food, accommodation, travel and have big name acts headlining the event.
There was one of two ways to win tickets to the party of the year: a) competing in the scavenger hunt on Highfield Campus set up by the university’s Spotify student brand manger, Ellie Toyn; or b) tweet to win a ticket by sharing your university with the hashtag #SpotifySecretSocial.
250 students won tickets across the UK, of which four were from the University of Southampton. Upon winning, all that we were told was to meet outside Mayflower Halls with students from Winchester, Bournemouth and Portsmouth to venture on a four and half hour journey on the 9th June. There was much speculation on the coach journey of who would be headlining and where we would actually end up. By some miracle (for us, probably a nightmare for the organisers!), it was leaked via Twitter by an unhappy patron that did not win tickets, but somehow managed to find out the location of the venue, that we were heading to the glamorous town of Ipswich!
Upon arrival at the Travelodge in Ipswich, we were given a goody bag that included a free cider, vita coco water, an energy bar, a toothbrush, our events wristband and a sheet of paper with instructions. All the instructions stated was that we would be leaving at 7:30pm and that a hog roast would be waiting for us along with free alcohol on arrival at the still secret venue!
Back on the coach, we were supplied with more drink and just told to sit back for the thirty minute journey to the elusive venue.
Thirty minutes later, we pulled up to RAF Wattisham, Suffolk. We were to be partying in an empty air hanger. The idea that we were in the middle of nowhere, in an empty air field was insane and completely unbelievable.
As soon as the big hanger doors opened we were greeted by Big College Band who got the party started as everyone scrambled for the hog roast and free bar. Big College Band was only the start of the night, as singer-song writer Tom James was welcomed to the stage and followed by modern-soul musical collective band Jungle who played an amazing set including there biggest hit ‘Busy Earin’’.
At this point, the party was in full swing with all 250 students living it up and partying away. The MC of the night then began to announce the next act and the crowd went wild once her lilac hair was visible. It was Radio One DJ, B Traits. To say she got the crowd really going, would be an understatement.
B Traits was a hard act to follow as she played and remixed some of the biggest records of the year, as well as her owns single ‘Fever’ featuring Elisabeth Troy. The sixth artist to hit the Spotify stage was UK grime artist Big Narstie. Not being a fan of grime music, I had no idea who Big Narstie was. But that did not matter, once he got his flow going he had the crowd in the palm of his hand, especially when he played ‘Don’t Fuck Up The Base’.
The final act of the night was the biggest surprise and got the biggest cheer. It was platinum selling artist, DJ Fresh. DJ Fresh was in his element on the stage with his front man Jay Messy encouraging the crowd to sing along to ‘Louder’ and ‘Dibby Dibby Sound’. DJ Fresh also dropped his new track ‘Believer’ which was welcomed by the eager crowd. The crowd went insane when Fresh played his track ‘Hot Right Now’, which features Rita Ora. This had the party-goers jumping up and down and even had many of them on other people’s shoulders!
When DJ Fresh’s set came to an end, so did the night with us swaying and attempting to jump back on the right coach back to our hotel.
Overall, the night was incredible and I’d encourage EVERYONE to tweet and enter for tickets next year. It was amazing and definitely worth the early 10am wake up call and the dreaded hungover five hour journey back to Southampton the next day. It was one of the best nights of the year, with seven acts from completely different genres of music brought together by Spotify for one huge night of fun.
Plus, it was 100% free – what more could you ask for?!