Our take – Freshers’ Week events

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Fortnight – Throughout October

The Lancaster Institute of Contemporary Arts should be your port of call for all things indie and arty on campus and they’re starting the year as they mean to go on with Proto-type Theatre’s ‘Fortnight’ Project.

The project is a being touted as a ‘theatrical intervention into daily life’ which aims to show Lancaster to Freshers (and returning students) in a new light. If you want to engage in the local art scene and meet like-minded people whilst exploring the myriad secrets of Lancaster’s labyrinthine streets, this is the event for you.

Participants will receive mysterious, poetic communications and event invitations via email, post and mobile phone. Quite the alternative to Googling exactly what you can concoct out of baked beans, gravy granules,vodka and Youtubing clips of Justin Bieber, eh?

LICA are expecting a high turnout, so participants have until Thursday 13th October to register. In order to participate you must live in Lancaster (including on campus), and you must be available from the 17th– 30th of October. If you’re curious then pop along to ‘Re – Fresher’ at Live At LICA’s café-bar on Sunday 9th October, 3-6pm or go to www.fornightproject.com

Mazes – Lancaster Library, 8th October

There’s a rule when it comes to music that gets played during Fresher’s week; if it’s not auto-tuned and doesn’t feature Pitbull splurging vocal diarrhoea all over the chorus, then you probably won’t hear it. Not your cup of tea? Then by Saturday you may well be contemplating the most effective way of eliminating the creators of whatever happens to be this year’s Fresher’s Week “Banger”.

But wait! All might seem lost, but throwing The Wanted off a bridge isn’t going to make your life any easier; rumour has it that prison accommodation is even worse than the flats in Bowland, as hard as that is to believe.

On Saturday the 8th, forego the usual rush to the clubs and head to what is perhaps the last place you’d expect to hear some fantastic rock music- Lancaster Library. If you like your music bouncy, full of guitars and in loud, sweaty bursts, then Mazes are the band for you. Their début album, a Thousand Heys, was released this year to critical acclaim, and their live show is amongst the best in the country. Tickets are only 6 pound from www.getitloudinlibraries.com.

Of course, there is a downside – The Wanted get to continue making music. Shame that.

LA1:TV do Fresher’s Week – Throughout Fresher’s Week

Turning on your TV won’t be the first thing on your mind when you arrive on campus, but try and keep an eye out for Lancaster’s own media moguls, LA1:TV. They’ve got loads happening throughout Fresher’s Week, so there’s plenty of time to at least dip your toe into Lancaster’s vast lake of student media. They’ll be at the Fresher’s Fair every day, of course, but there’s much more than that going on.

Tuesday night will mark the début of SugarTV, in future weeks the format will be expanded and a Big Brother-esque Diary Room chair will be making an appearance in Sugarhouse; tune in on Wednesday night to see what a foolish decision it was to have yourself filmed when drunk. If you fancy trying your hand on camera when sober, you can give it a shot on Friday at their presenter try-outs, where you’ll also have the chance to enter their Fresher’s Week competition.

But LA1’s most interesting piece of Fresher’s week coverage is set to be ‘Diary of a Fresher’, where four new arrivals will be documenting their first experiences of Lancaster. Freshers will get to see the week through a different lens, and returning students get to either reminisce or feel relieved that their life is no longer an endless series of hangovers.

Freshers Fair – Great Hall Complex, Thursday and Friday

The Fresher’s fair does seem to get a lost amongst the endless University bureaucracy and the (also) endless College Bar alcoholocracy, but it is an absolute must attend for anyone (both Freshers and returning students) who wants to make their University life slightly more interesting after Freshers’ Week ends. Joining up to a society after the fair is never impossible, but doing so means you’re going to have missed all the cool stuff that gets laid on for new members…

Thursday will see pretty much every student group and society set up shop around campus. Take the time to browse and spend wisely, there’s plenty of time to decide whether or not you want to join the feminist laser-quest society (if that doesn’t exist yet then it should), especially since Freshers have priority entrance this year. Join as many free societies as you like, but don’t make the mistake of handing over a precious £20 note in exchange for society membership if you’re never going to see them again afterwards!

Friday is an equally important day. Every pub, restaurant and club in Lancaster will have a presence on campus, and there’ll all be eager to give away whatever they can to have you visit their establishment in the future. It’s known colloquially as ‘That Day Where You Can Get Enough Pens And Novelty Underwear To Last All Year Day’, so, y’know, make the most of it.

LUGS does Rock Band – Bowland Seminar Rooms, Thursday

That stereotypical view of ‘the gamer’ as a slightly smelly, 18-25 male who dresses in black and spends all of their time staring at a screen in their mothers basement should really have evaporated by now. What with Wii-ing in public becoming socially acceptable and Farmville and its ilk having ensnared every Grandma in the land, and your ‘stereotypical gamer’ is now more likely to be a 40-55 year old female who smells faintly of flowers and enjoys knitting whilst she waits for her friends to send her virtual piggies into to virtual bacon. Mmmm. Virtual bacon…

LUGS – that’s Lancaster University Gaming Society, not something to do with otorhinolaryngology – are one of the most active societies on campus, and welcome everyone from the hardest of the core and the casual gamer to their ranks with open (and not even slightly sweaty) arms. They’re also an astoundingly organised bunch who frequently put together some of the largest and most enjoyable events on campus, from massive PC LAN tournamnets to Mario-themed bar crawls. LUGS will be starting the year as they mean to go on by hosting a large console gaming event and Rock Band tournament in the Bowland North Seminar Rooms on Thursday, the same day as the Freshers Fair, which means you’ll be able to join up and go and enjoy the benefits of being in a society straight away. Bring your games of choice, bring your battered ‘lucky controller’, bring your virtual bacon to snack on mid-game. Mmmm. Virtual bacon….

You Me At Six – Preston, 53 Degrees, Saturday 8th

Those who have had enough of dancing to Tinie Tempah are in for a treat on Saturday the 8th, as our quaint little part of the world is experiencing a strangely high concentration of good quality music. Not only are the delightful Mazes playing in town at the Library (cast your eyes just a little over there for more information), but the subjects of this month’s SCAN interview, You Me At Six, will be continuing their UK tour at 53 Degrees in Preston. Sure, it’s not in Lancaster itself, but for only a couple of quid return on the train, why not go exploring? Better still, it’s on a night when most Freshers will be packing out the usual haunts – this is the perfect opportunity for 2nd and 3rd years (as well as adventurous newbies) to get out of town.

You Me At Six themselves have quite the cult following, and they’re well known for their highly energetic live shows. Coming off the back of releasing a third album (Sinners Never Sleep), their set looks set to be filled with plenty of newer, slightly heavier material. But their older albums are full to the brim of highly dance-able pop-punk anthems too, so fans can expect to see a good mix of exciting new’uns alongside their big pop hits. And even if you haven’t heard of them or are just a little indifferent, their take on the genre is nigh on impossible to actively dislike (and better than anything that the Sugarhouse will be playing by any stretch of the imagination). Jump around a bit, have fun, let off some steam, and then maybe laugh at some UClan students before setting off for home (we’re precisely 63 places above them in the Guardian University Guide, if you wanted to somehow integrate that into a chant of sorts).