Plans for the Summer Party – an annual University festival featuring music acts, fairground games and bars – have been cancelled by the Students’ Union (SU) this year as a result of a lack of venue options.
The Summer Party, which was previously held on the field by University House now under construction for the National Automotive Innovation Centre (NAIC) campus, has been considered for relocation.
Plans for the relocated Summer Party involved the use of the plaza space beside the Piazza (currently under construction) for fairground stalls and inflatable games while the main stage was to be situated by the big screen.
However, due to the construction of the plaza space, plans for the event this year were cancelled.
Before the cancellation, featured acts under consideration included Jess Glynne, Ella Henderson and Becky Hill.
In a 2013 review, it was noted that the party was a flagship event and removing the event would “deprive a large group of the fitting finale to the academic year”.
A report this year said: “The Committee were asked to approve the principles that this event should be viewed primarily as a service provision to members…the underlying sentiments of ‘flagship event’ and ‘service to members’ still remain…
“It adds value to the student experience, gives value to the Platinum Card offer… and helps to create a sense of community.”
The concept of a smaller, lower-priced event was outlined in the report with tickets potentially costing £25 and £60 for a combo ticket with Grad Ball. Future parties may start at 4pm until early morning 3am/4am with a potential for “survivor’s” photos and breakfast.
The music from the main stage would have eventually migrated into the Copper Rooms with the funfair and games operating until midnight. As well as fairground stalls and inflatable games, the plaza was also planned to accommodate sideshows, student performers, face painting and catering stalls.
The event may have also introduced festival-style tokens for bars to enable a quicker service, for example, a strip of tokens may cost £20.
Other options like shisha, a Copper Rooms Flirt stage, coffee house sessions and stages in the Terrace Bar and the Atrium were featured in a preliminary draft poster.
Concerns however included the proximity of the site to the road and the impact to the Rootes Grocery Store on alcohol sales.
Niall Johnson, a first-year Politics and International Studies undergraduate, commented on the Piazza venue of future Summer Parties: “That strikes me as the only real possibility to be honest – I think it would lose the sort of festival feel … but at the same time I wouldn’t mind it with the whole piazza backdrop – I imagine capacity would be an issue though…”
He added: “It is just disappointing that the University has prioritised its rapid development at the expense of student experience and the green spaces at Warwick that are rapidly dwindling.”
Alistair Rogers, third-year MORSE student, said that the piazza was a “good idea” and that the Terrace Bar would be a good place for bands to play. He also said that the piazza would be “completed when we’re all in retirement homes”.
Harry Bignell, a Literature finalist, was however particularly disappointed at the cancellation of this year’s party. She responded: “What the fucking fuck? Is this true?
“It’s really unfortunate that they have built on the one and only field they could ever hold a party in… oh wait. We’re surrounded by fields!”
Luke Brown, Literature finalist, commented: “I’d like to thank the University and the building works for preventing Zane Lowe from making yet another fucking unwelcome appearance.”