York: Boring?

Arts in York

I’m not sure why I came to York. I really can’t remember, but I do recall that on the University open day, the lake was glistening in the bright sun, the people seemed friendly, and I soon found some campus bar. I couldn’t have been happier. I didn’t really think much about the city. I remembered that there was the huge Minster, some fantastic pubs, and that was about it really. It never seemed to cross my mind that I was coming to live in a city which seemed to base it’s entire tourist industry upon Vikings, Vikings, and more Vikings, but here I am. I’ve spent the last few issues having a poke around York, seeing what is going in, meeting comedians, dramatists and actors. Contrary to the popular student belief, as I now come towards the end of my first year, I want to persuade you that York is anything but boring.

I’ll start with the Barbican centre. If you are a first year, I will forgive you if you cry out that the "Fresh: The YUSU Fresher’s Bash" put you off, because if scarred me for life. Anyway, the Barbican is always putting on some quite big name acts. A crowd from my house headed down a couple of months a go to see the Levellers play. The night was absolutely awesome, and some of them still manically talk about today. Last week, a girl I knew went to see Ladysmith Black Mambazo (the African male voice choir who sing on the baked beans advert). She admits that she paid a fortune, but that every penny was worth it. The Levellers and Ladysmith are quite different, but I think it is great that there is so much variety in what’s going in and around York.

I admit that I yet haven’t been to the opera house, but I am always kept well up to date with what is going on there. If you think that the opera house is just only opera, then you might do well to think again. Besides opera, the venue plays host to the ballet, dance groups, rock bands, comedians and many more. In recent times, there has been a Russian ballet team performing, a Pink Floyd tribute band, and, if you can face it, Ken Dodd with his merry band of tickle-stick waving diddy men.

On thing that I have come to realise, and to love oh so dearly, is that York has many pubs. It claims to have a different pub for every day of the year, and that’s quite a claim to make. Get out, and try something other than the Nags Head for a change. You’ll be surprised at how many live bands and other events the pubs host- often all free of charge. If it’s free, it’s bound to appeal to any penniless student!

As you may have read in the last issue (if not, why not?), at the end of term is the long awaited York Comedy Festival. It will be the end of term, and quite a few of you (if you are an arts student like me, anyway) will have a bit of time on your hands. Don’t waste it lounging round in the sun, drinking tea, valuable pastime as it is. Get down to town for what promises to be the funniest thing in York since the Student’s Union claimed that the nightlife was exciting.

If you actually cannot be bothered to leave campus, be sure not to miss Woodstock this year. Sure, although it may be moved to the sunny delights of ‘Vanbrugh Paradise’, you can still see the full delights that students bands still have to offer!

So go on, get down to town. Go to the Barbican, to the Opera House, to see the live bands which play in some of York’s many pubs. Get down to town and try something a bit different.

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