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Stars back Scotland’s largest student-run arts festival

Stars back Scotland's largest student-run arts festival mb

The largest student-run arts festival in Scotland, showcasing the very best of student art, photography, film and theatre, begins this week (1 to 10 April).

The ten-day annual festival, On the Rocks, which has a host of backers from stage and screen, will also include dance, fashion, music and comedy events taking place in 19 venues across St Andrews.

This year’s festival has a community feel, with nearly 50 events taking place in local restaurants and public spaces, as well as more traditional University venues.

The festival, which was launched by a group of students at the University of St Andrews in 2009, has the support of high-profile Patrons including honorary graduates of the University, Sir Sean Connery and Dame Judi Dench.

Patron Andy Serkis, best known for playing Gollum in The Lord of the Rings film trilogy, said: “On The Rocks is a truly inspirational festival, to which I send my support and very best wishes. As a student I was encouraged to engage in all aspects of theatre, music and film, and it is vital that events such as this festival continue to grow and be nurtured in order to support the artistic minds of the future.”

Highlights include an evolving mural, an Indian film festival, a poetry workshop, a community Upcycling workshop, and a performance of George Orwell’s Animal Farm taking place in the Steak Barn at Balgove Larder.

Events will also be held in University venues including the Byre Theatre, St Andrews Community Library, the Barron Theatre, the Students’ Association, Younger Hall, the Old Union Café and Buchanan Lecture Theatre.

For the first time, this year will see a community mural evolve throughout the week, with anyone wishing to add their art able to do so in three venues across town. It will begin on Saturday 3 April in Church Square, move to the main University library on North Street on 6 April, then St Salvator’s Quadrangle on 8 April, before ending at the St Andrews Bandstand on The Scores on Saturday ninth.

Festival Director Caroline Christie said: “On The Rocks gives student societies the opportunity to showcase their talents on a larger scale, helping to create a greater sense of community within the St Andrews student body. This year’s event has an additional air of sustainability, with upcycling workshops and vintage fairs taking place, as well as a fundraising evening or art, poetry and music in aid of refugee relief.”

The event will open with a 1920’s Shanghai-themed ball hosted by the Hongpao Society and close with its traditional ceilidh at St Andrews Castle on the evening of Sunday 10 April.

The festival also has the support of other St Andrews honorary graduates Dame Helen Mirren and Joanna Lumley, as well as graduates Crispin Bonham Carter and Siobhan Redmond, and British actor Simon Pegg.

Tickets for events are available from the Byre Box Office, Monday to Saturday from 10am to 4.30pm (01334 475000), or 30 minutes before each event on the door (if still available). See the online programme for all events.


Notes to news editors:

For interviews contact OTR head of press, St Andrews student Charlotte Haswell-West on 07505 733 257 or chw4@st-andrews.ac.uk.

Issued by the Press Office, University of St Andrews, contactable on 01334 462530 or proffice@st-andrews.ac.uk.

Ref: OTR launch 310316

Student experience

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