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Engi Laneway Festival 2018

Much like fine wines or cheese, the Engineering Laneway Festival only gets better with time.

Each and every year, the event gets bigger and better. In 2018, bigger and better meant an array of food options, drink choices, live music, and for the very first time: an after-party.

What else could we expect from the largest society of our university? Samantha Chapman, the Engineering Society President, has been hard at work for months laying the groundwork for this year’s festival at the end of 2017.

Why? Because Laneway is the university’s second-biggest event. Noting a significant lack of social events on the agenda for this year, Laneway had the opportunity to make this a night to remember.

The University’s desire to change the drinking culture on campus means that the Engi Society has had to adapt, improvise and overcome.

But overcome, they most certainly have. Instead of Laneway looking like every other 2015 barrel, Chapman and the rest of the society created an event of which UTas can be proud. The atmosphere was relaxed, filled with students relieved to have made it to mid-semester break.

With a nod to the #NeverOK movement launched last year, a campaign focused on sexual assault on UTas campuses, the admission bracelets stated “#NeverOk”, a reminder worn on the wrist of every person who entered the event.

Sam was fully committed to Laneway being a safe and fun environment for students. She and the rest of the Laneway team refused to be caught up in the insanity of bar service, instead choosing to mingle and keep a watchful eye on the event. This, along with the copious amount of hired security, meant that a perfect balance was in place.

The live music set list boasted the names of local Hobart artists like Sam Dowson and Chase City.

“People like the music, and we like to work with local artists,” Sam said. “We pick music that we personally enjoy.”

Instead of sloppy, drunk university students, there was mingling and laughing and plenty of space to chat away from the music.

Robbie Hunt, an Engineering Honours student who has been involved with past Laneway events, spoke highly of the event this year.

“Laneway is more than just drinking. It brings a lot of different university disciplines together.” According to him, Campus Services believe that barrels tarnish the University of Tasmania’s reputation.

Robbie mentioned how separate the university disciplines are now, with the media school soon leaving the Sandy Bay campus, the med campus in the city, and the fine arts campus in Salamanca.

“Laneway is a really good event that brings us together even though the Uni is splitting everyone up more and more. I guess you could say we need this event more than ever,” he laughed.

Laneway’s reputation continues to precede itself, and the society has created an event for which the entire university student body waits excitedly, year after year. If that’s not the definition of a successful social experience for students, then what is?

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