Over 6000 people livestreamed Fruity last night
And not a single VK bottle was thrown
Following Boris Johnson’s announcement on Friday night that all pubs, clubs, and bars are to shut to help prevent the spread of coronavirus, the garden of Eden – AKA Fruity – was forced to close its doors for the foreseeable future, starting with last Friday’s event.
But the students of Leeds weren’t going to let a little quarantine stop them. Thanks to the angels over at Leeds Student Radio, students at the University of Leeds were able to have their own ‘Virtual Fruity’, listening at home all over the world.
“It took me about half an hour to scroll through all of the tweets we were sent,” says Seb Cheer, one of the organisers of the event. “We got more engagement on social media in those three hours than we’ve had in the last three months, which is absolutely mental.”
Over 6000 people listened to the stream over four continents across the globe.
It wasn’t just Leeds Uni students that were enjoying the party, some just tuned in for the incessant stream of bangers:
Even alumni from 2013 tuned in!
“People love the music, people love the club night and the idea of all coming together. I was buzzing last night; I didn’t go to bed until four hours after the show had ended,” said Seb.
Rosie Gilmour is a first-year Psychology student, currently self-isolating with her flatmates in Henry Price. She says she’s not a regular at Fruity, but the comfort of her kitchen let her dance moves come out without inhibition.
“I ‘went’ last night because it was just a bit of fun, there are so many things happening at the moment, but last night was an absolute blast! It was quieter than a normal Fruity, you had to create the atmosphere yourself.
“I was with two of my really close flatmates, we had a really good time on our own just chilling in the kitchen. I’m personally not that big a Fruity-goer, but sitting, listening and dancing with fewer cares than a normal Fruity was really good!”
Some people really got into the spirit of things, donning their best Fruity-wear to have a boogie in their bedrooms. This stellar effort from Jane Greenwood, Sophie Maccoy, and Anna Povall takes the cake for our best-dressed award of the night:
Alec Feldman helped to put the event together and hosted Virtual Fruity live from his kitchen. He thought the idea would be popular, but even he couldn’t have anticipated how successful it would become.
“I was expecting maybe high double digits, low triple figures for listeners, but it totally blew up – I was blown away,” he says. “I’m genuinely made up about the whole thing; it was incredible. When the show got to about 10, maybe 20 minutes in, and the messages started flowing in on social media, we all thought: ‘Oh my god this is going to be bigger than any of us expected.”
“We thought it would be a great way to bring people together, plus it gives us something to do. It’s a dream come true to do that kind of show. To have so many people listening to it, it was amazing – I was sat there grinning.
“The best message I got was from a friend who could hear other people on the same road singing along to Virtual Fruity, it was an incredible moment, I loved the whole thing.”
If you listened to Virtual Fruity in at home last night, you might have looked a little bit like Sophie Hollingworth and her housemate, enjoying the tunes in the most comfortable way possible:
There are rumours of Virtual Fruity 2.0 coming live to us next Friday after Leeds Student Radio posted a poll on the event page that has gained over 200 votes of support so far.
Seb Cheer wouldn’t confirm or deny any plans but he hinted that there might be something in the works. “I’m not sure what I can say, but I think the fact that I’ve just said that probably gives it away.”
Virtual Fruity is hands down the best thing to come out of quarantine life so far.