It’s that time of year again, and what a first term it’s been! I think it’s safe to say I’ve reclaimed the holiday I spent working this year judging by how much I’ve gone out these last few weeks. Only last week I entered a competition NaSTA (National Student Television Association) were running on Twitter. To my embarrassment, a joke I made about recursion was overlooked and I had to clarify that I had made a submission after all. When I heard I was one of the five who’d won, and I’d be going to see Deadmau5 (“Dead Mao Five”) at Earls Court, I was over the moon. It’d been a while since I’d been to a gig, unless you count Tinie Tempah at Imperial’s summer ball or Radio 1Xtra, but that was not all. I was to join the production team there and film Deadmau5 for the resulting DVD too!
This bout of surprise media work experience was quite exciting, and I’d found out the news waking up to my phone at a friend’s house after a night out, so I was pretty dazed. I got back home later in the day and reviewed what was going on. I later received a text explaining when and where to meet. It wasn’t long before I realised I was quite lucky to be living next to the venue, especially with the amount of snow that had fallen.
At around 5pm, I set off from my place in Fulham bound for Earls Court, got the bus and was eventually at Earls Court waiting for the others at twenty past. A short while later, another student, Nick, arrived and I realised the others were going to have more trouble getting there than I did. Like, something more than the bus terminating one stop earlier than usual. I heard one person was stuck at Heathrow and another trying to get to St Pancras.
Nick and I eventually met the guy in charge, signed the relevant contracts, was given a tour around the area and briefed. It’d been a while since I’d been to Earls Court, and last time was for a holiday exhibit. I’d forgotten how large the area was, and Nick said it would be a record turnout on the day, about 17,000.
After being treated to a lovely Christmas dinner backstage which restored our energies, Nick took inspiration from the terrible jokes we were reading from crackers and figured he would tell one to Zane Lowe, who was outside. We marched towards the exit, and it was safe to say the joke was received as chilly as the weather. He seemed to admire that we’d braved the cold for that chance though, and we took a picture with him. I hadn’t any idea who he was at this time, so I’d just been going with it, and afterwards I tried to discreetly ask Nick. The question brought him outrage and I realised who he was soon after. Funnily enough, Nick also bumped into Deadmau5 in the toilets. Apparently he bumped into him again sometime later, which I found hilarious.
The place had started to fill up quite quickly and we set out to join the crowd about 20 minutes before Deadmau5 was on. Having some time to ourselves, we took the opportunity to chill out. We danced for a while, then began to split up when Deadmau5’s iconic Mario intro was on. I go out quite often and I must admit I found it rather weird dancing to loud music when not somewhat intoxicated by alcohol. We were briefed with advice to get all up in the audience’s face and film everything, so we did just that. It was about the crowd – the mix of quality would work well for the resulting video.
We split up our separate ways and I took charge of the front-left side. I filmed several people I could only describe as “off their faces” and others who seemed rather calm. Encountering several groups of people who were very keen on raising others above their shoulders/taking their shirts off/making out with their friends was entertaining. The display of light emanating from the main screen at the front was immense, so I took a few photos with my phone. On my way back, I ran into two friends from Imperial who happened to be part of the crowd at the time. I greeted them but explained I had to go, flashing my “broadcaster” ID and leaving them to ponder how or why I was working there that night.
Having finally rendezvoused with the others to prove I hadn’t got lost amongst the crowd, we made our separate ways and I took the bus back, marking the end of an amazing night.