The Pineapple Chunks head up ECA Annual Summer Revel
If ever there was a party in Edinburgh’s calendar that deserves the term legendary, the Revel is it. Everyone knows about Hogmanay, the Festival and even Beltane, but Edinburgh College of Art’s traditional end of term blowout tends to be both truly definitive of Edinburgh’s alternative scene in the preceding 12 months, and a mystery to those who’ve never experienced it. Although the entry policy isn’t exacting, the presale-only tickets are intended for ‘students, members and guests’.
Held in its current format – across the Wee Red Bar and other student union spaces, and in a marquee on the lawn – for around 25 years, the Revel was in the building’s indoor sculpture court before that. As usual, this year’s party will feature bands (among them The Yes Men, The Pineapple Chunks, Thank You So Nice and Earl Grey & The Loose Leaves), DJs, karaoke from the late Snatch Club’s Harry Ainsworth and a fancy dress theme: Roald Dahl, so expect to see, says the Wee Red’s manager Colvin Cruikshank, ‘a load of twits, monkeys up trees and a few tales of the unexpected the next day.’
Yet Cruikshank is also worried by the city’s fastidious licensing laws, and by the ever-increasing amount of hoops which have to be jumped through in staging an event like this. ‘I hate to say that it could be the last one,’ he says. ‘It’s not just a fun party, it’s about showcasing the talent and the potential at the Art College.’ And if those who don’t like the idea of fun were to succeed in killing the Revel off, they’d be killing part of the creative heritage of one of Edinburgh’s most venerable establishments.