Review: SyncopY

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A small but enthusiastic clientele.

Over the 2 years I’ve been at York Vision, ‘Syncopy’ is the event that has most consistently provided me with press passes. And while the general rule states that the events that most readily provide press passes are the worst, I am happy to report that Syncopy is an exception to that rule.

The event had it all, live electro swing for two hours, beer for 2 pounds (even if it was Carlsberg) and a spectacularly involved clientele that obeyed the 30’s swing dress code to the letter. And it is this last component that made the night for me.

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The band played Take Five at our request. In short, they were great.

More than half of the attendees were also great dancers, many of whom were dancing in what I can only assume was the swing style.

I was also pleasantly surprised by the DJ, who was in my mind, the best electro swing DJ at any of the Syncopy events I’ve attended.

However, as much as I enjoyed the music and mingling among the keen dancers that night, it’s time I address the elephant in the room. The event was very poorly attended, to the point that I think the organizers could have placed a literal elephant in the room and still have had far too much space.

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I think the elephant would fit rather snugly in the middle of that circle.

To quote a 1st year I met outside the venue, ‘We just came because we didn’t feel like going out to the town.’ In contrast, the¬†previous Syncopy event I visited in Fibbers was very well attended with similar levels of enthusiasm from the attendees. Organizing an event on Heslington East on a Friday night was nothing short of a terrible idea, and the organizers should have picked a Saturday or a Monday if they wanted to hold it in the Glasshouse.

Another pet peeve of mine was the lack of effort by the organizers to stick to the theme of the event. The bouncers were disappointingly not in 20’s attire and there was not a gramophone in sight. Bringing themed items to the event would have gone a long way to making it a more complete experience; though to the organizers credit, projecting 30’s newsreel in the smoking area was a nice touch.

All in all, the event was fun but was severely let down by its poor attendance. If the organizers keep the DJ and excellent live band, add some more themed items and choose a better time and venue, then perhaps they can top the previous very memorable Syncopy events.

Columnist at York Vision and Chat Politics.