Minival 10 – The Castle Party
by Bianca Rhodes
We’ve all heard it – Aberdeen cultural wasteland, Aberdeen oil, granite and seagulls. Once again, we strive to dispute it – and we have proof.
Going by the upbeat moniker of Minival – a condensed ‘mini Carnival’ – Ravi and Cristof have been introducing Scottish crowds to new electronic live music since 2008. They are now getting ready to celebrate their 10th birthday in grand style under the beautiful shadow of Kincardine Castle, to the sound of some of the most exciting acts in electronic music at the moment.
As with all the best things in life, Minival started almost accidentally: a messy kitchen in Johnston Halls armed with a few speakers and DJ gear and first year students throwing a party for the sake of a night of good fun. Before you knew it, over the rest of the year the whole block of flats joined in the now monthly parties, until the concern for health and safety became pressing: when too many people started piling up in the kitchens, they had to move out. Luckily, Aberdeen has got miles of coastline and, in May, you can almost rely on the weather if you want to spend time outdoors: Minival got themselves a name, created an event page, dragged equipment for half an hour along the beach, turned the volume up. Hillhead heard about it – hundreds of people soon came marching along, and what a night that was. From then on, wildfire.
Ravi and Cristof kept hosting regular parties fostering collaborations with DJs within the student community and interacting with venues around town. Location was never secondary: weather permitting, they always wanted to keep the vibe of an outdoor, daytime festival. Most important, though, was the sense of community. Ravi emphasizes how crucial it was both in creating and sustaining Minival: in a relatively small city like Aberdeen, it was important to bring together a group of inpiduals sharing the same interest in music to build and grow a community with a wider outreach beyond the student niche. A constant concern was also the need to introduce Aberdeen to music that the city had not heard before: discovering new artists in gigs around Scotland, Minival would then get them to come to Aberdeen, opening the city to the wider Scottish and British music scene. Coinciding with the explosion of electronic music and its plethora of perse subgenres, they were treading a fertile ground, eventually starting to enrich the stage with international DJs. Even after graduating and moving out, expanding the brand with events in London and Edinburgh, Cristof and Ravi have kept coming back to Aberdeen, playing in venues so perse as Tunnels and Codona’s theme park. Although he senses that the community has got slightly lost over time and even though the crowds keep changing and there’s new people to meet every year, Ravi remains enthusiastic – ‘There’s just something about the Scottish crowds – they’re mental!’.
There’s no plans to stop anytime soon – just to get bigger and bigger, building on a wider outreach. For this year’s birthday, on Saturday the 12th this month, the excitement piled up over 10 years is palpable. The setting is superb: the green acres of the stunning park overlooked by Kincardine Castle, a few miles outside of the city centre, the location of last year’s birthday festival as well. The line-up is an extravagant, luscious banquet: from established names such as Nightmares on Wax and ÂME (Live), to perse acts such as Awesome Tapes from Africa, playing only from cassette tapes, to Gerd Janson, J.G Wilkes and Hammer, then all the way until a large pool of local supporters. From the looks of it, it will be another of a long string of legendary parties, one of many more that will, hopefully, continue to kindle Aberdeen’s music nights. All there is left to hope is that the sun’s out.