Elaga, a triumph or just a mud bath?
Did it live up to the hype?
Elaga's first foray into the world of St. Andrew's events was one of the more anticipated and certainly talked about events of this semester's social calendar.
Tickets were certainly not cheap, and were being sold ten-a-penny on Facebook. So why were people so apprehensive, when the committee promised a range of food options, a specialist VIP tent, Laser Tag (!), as well as headlining acts of Sigala and Rudimental?
The answer, more than likely lay in the worries about the weather. It wasn't a pleasant day, not cold but the Scottish weather gods were certainly not smiling down on Craigtoun Country Park on Saturday. But in typical British festival style that didn't do anything to dampen the spirit of the event.
An obvious comparison could be made to Starfields, and although it was a relatively similar concept (big headline acts, food trucks, novelty attractions etc), the feel of the event was entirely different. Elaga certainly felt like a wholesome British festival, admittedly a long day, but nonetheless the combination of the mud, the rain, the screeching and the laughter did make it feel like an event very different to any other in St. Andrews, a far cry from the almost tropical feel of Starfields.
The sticking point somewhat was the price, and what you got for it. The extras weren't included in your ticket price, Laser Tag for example was £3 and drinks weren't exactly cheap either. Not extortionate prices but when you've already payed at least £55, or even more if you're VIP, it does beg some questions as to what exactly you were paying for.
Further to this, the way the event was marketed made it seem as if it was going to be slick, professional and impeccably designed. But it wasn't. Not that it wasn't well run – everything ran smoothly, the buses and taxis running to and from town nearly all day was a welcome addition to the plan and security was good but not too strict, but the whole day felt more like a piss up in a field with good music than a typically St. Andrews event.
That being said, having gone into the event with some apprehension, I did feel as if all in all, for a first time event which had so much speculation surrounding it, Elaga and it's committee pulled off something quite impressive. Yes, it needed some creases ironing out and some changes needed to be made if things are to run more smoothly next year, but I will say this: for all the people who felt the need to take to social media to bitch and moan about how dreadful it was going to be and how overpriced it was, I challenge you to have the guts to get together a committee, organise several large and impressive acts such as Wes Walker, Sigala and Rudimental (although granted the four front men didn't actually make an appearance) and start an event from scratch, and for the most part pull it off.