We sit sipping cider whilst staring out the window at the drizzle sparking off the pavements. In the corner two tinny speakers wheeze out the closing lines of Green Velvet’s La La Land and three people huddle for warmth (all wearing coats) on the damp leather sofas. However a grim image that this may seem, we’re all pretty excited. At 9.30pm the doors of the Queen’s Students’ Union will be thrown open to welcome the strangely eclectic crowd to Shine, and no debris-strewn student house will ruin our night.
On the bill in room 1(Mandela Hall) is deep house giant Green Velvet, Midland and Phil Kieran. Room 2(Bunatee Bar) welcomes London duo Dense and Pika supported by Schmutz and Chris Hanna. Room 3(Bar Sub) is occupied by brilliant local DJ Space Dimension Controller for the whole duration of the event.
Descending into the haze of happiness and the constant reassuring thump of the various bass lines, the night is propelled forward at a break neck pace. Wide eyed revellers float past one and other, two balding men cling together and a sea of raised sweaty fists pound at the freshly re-plastered roof of the Bunatee Bar. It is almost impossible to spot someone having a bad time just as it would be difficult to find aggression amongst the ranks of ravers. No other night brings people together like Shine. A punk sporting a purple mohawk shares a cigarette with a group of sport jacketed youths, a grey haired Shine veteran hoists the arm of a smiling newcomer into the air in triumph, while our music making friends provide the sound track to five and half hours of merry making.
Each DJ had something different to offer from the euphoric darkness of Midland to the classic house stylings of Green Velvet. The music in each room mixes well, avoiding sounding muddled and too overpowering. Each act shares a connection with the crowd which often has us surging forward to be as close as possible to the source of the party. Delighted yelling, Indian war whooping and battle cries pierce through the music. People shuffle, weave and loaf on the dance floors and a glass of iced water stands unattended.
Shine events are like a large family gathering, old friends emerge from the darkness to clasp your hand and ask how you are with honesty and patience. You walk away with a smile on your face and about a dozen new phone numbers.
This is the nature of Shine and this is why it is fantastic.
Shine returns to Mandela Hall on Monday 21st of April. Tickets on sale Wednesday 5th of March.