Our Events Editor Katryn Kavaliova reviews On The Rocks’ Freshers’ Week event: ‘Served’.

‘Served: On the Rocks’ managed to put together a tasteful selection of student talent showcasing singing, dancing and photography to appease those seeking an alternative to the drunken revelries and poor decisions of Fresher’s Week. Despite a slight delay at the beginning, the event kicked off with a promising performance from the Hummingbirds who showcased impressive harmonies. The highlight of the performance for many was no doubt the refreshing mashup of Chris Isaac’s ‘Wicked Games’ and Calvin Harris’s ‘Sweet Nothing’ as the a cappella group stunned with their silvery vocals. Next up was Alice Melnik, who offered an equally stunning set list including Amy Winehouse’s ‘Tears Dry on Their Own’ with piano accompaniment by Finn Antrobus. The pair’s collaboration worked well in delivering a more romantic undertone to the portion of the evening. Finn would return to stage at the end of the evening and perform his self-composed songs gaining a few eager fans.

However, it is the penultimate act by Charmaine Hiller, on behalf of FOUND, that seemed to be the crowd favourite. Her contemporary dance performance was the only act that managed to completely silence the eager chatterers of Beacon Bar for the first time of the night and garner the room’s entire attention. However, if live performances somehow didn’t fulfil the creative needs of the attendees, an exhibition at the far side of the bar certainly did. Guests were continuously drawn to the photographic display with each photographer – Terry Lee, Nana Aba and Holly Lister – offering an insightful and very individual social commentary based on their respective experiences. Overall, the varied acts of the night in combination with the photographic exhibition made for a varied and creative retreat for those in attendance. The night successfully managed to fulfil the purpose of the evening – to offer a taster of what the largest student-run festival in the UK will have to offer in the coming year.

For those who are eager to get involved with On the Rocks this year, subcommittee applications will close on 20th September with positions ranging from marketing to venue management. Applications for those with an artistic fervour who want to be more engaged with the performance aspect of the festival will open on October 1. And if your passion lies with acting, auditions to take part OTR’s biggest event of the semester will take place on Thursday and Friday of Week 1. For further updates on the events or how you can get involved, OTR can be found on Facebook.

On The Rocks is the largest student Arts Festival in the UK, and takes places in second semester each year.