Fairy lights and handmade banners infused the otherwise necessary blackness of the Barron on Thursday night, punctuated occasionally by streams of piano music when the general sub-noise of people seemed to falter. Wrapped in cardigans and elaborate scarves, bearing well-worn notebooks and favoured pens, sketchbooks, and occasionally some canvases, the people who filtered in throughout the night seemed intent on adding to the warm, stimulating atmosphere intended, and for the most part, perpetuated throughout the Creative Lock-in.
The event, proposed as an all-nighter for the exceptionally daring, and a drop in of creative inspiration for even the least zealous, was not particularly organised nor did it claim to be. The variety of homemade baked goods and hot drinks available combined with handmade signs and spontaneous announcements for workshops and performances only added to the earnest character that perpetuated the entire night. People sat on the floor, on bleachers (the lucky ones had chairs), balancing musical instruments, notebooks, and sketchbooks, with, at the very least, the intention of creating. This alone made a warm, non-judgmental atmosphere. It was a haven of sorts for both the self-identified and more reclusive artists of all kinds that inhabit St Andrews.
Many of the returners seemed to have fond memories of adoption, plans to adopt, meeting their best friends, and even meeting their best friends there in previous years. This year was no exception, as many who came into the Barron alone left in a stream of conversation. What the Lock-In does best, albeit somewhat surreptitiously, is foster conversation about art and writing and music between people who otherwise would not pursue it by allowing those hobbies and talents an open environment, sleep deprivation, and sugar. The intimate nature of the Barron theatre, a black box, not only provided proverbial blank canvas for the attendees’ minds and imaginations, but also seemed to foster an overall aura of safety and privacy not usually allowed in the exposing lights of the library, or the ever-crowded Taste café down the street. While certainly one of the more “niche” events that St Andrews has to offer, the Lock-In served its very aesthetically pleasing and intellectually satisfying purpose: to provide a night otherwise impossible for the university’s dreamers and artists.
Photo credit goes to Terry Lee.