21st birthdays are commonly regarded as quite a milestone for humans. The teenage years have well and truly been left behind, historically it was the birthday after which you could first vote, and it's typically the age at which fresh-faced university graduates are dragged kicking and screaming into the 'real world' to fend for themselves.
I'm less sure that any of that is applicable to festivals. Nonetheless, Brasenose Arts Week 2015 - the 21st incarnation of our annual summer arts festival - turned out to be a very special week for me indeed. As the Arts Rep on the student Committee, it was my privilege/misfortune to be tasked with organising the week.
To dispel any concerns you may have at this point - this write-up is going to be a lot more than a guy simply blowing his own trumpet, although we did enjoy listening to trumpet players (along with other band members) throughout the week. What really struck me most throughout the week was just what a vast array of talented and enthusiastic individuals we have here at Brasenose.
There were those who were writing, directing and starring in plays; those giving spectacular salsa performances; those putting together an exhibition of wonderful artwork; those instructing others in the intricacies of stage combat; those performing music ranging in style from jazz to choral; those teaching (and posing!) for a life drawing class; and, I mustn't forget, those who really were excellent at serving a great glass of Pimm's.
We were also honoured by outside guests coming in to enrich proceedings, particularly thinking of the alumnae who came in to participate in various talks and discussions as part of the celebrations of 40 Years of Women in Brasenose, which were partially intertwined with Arts Week this year. They act as an inspiration to all of us.
More timelessly, Brasenose Arts Week always represents one of the best chances of the year for us to make use of New Quad - weather permitting. That caveat would usually indicate that, in true British style, it rained all the time and we all got horribly drenched, but by some mystical force I don't fully comprehend, we had a lovely week of sunshine.
With fortune smiling down on us, we enjoyed such gems as the outdoor performances of 'A Midsummer Night's Dream', all the more impressive for being the product of directorial débuts. Later in the week, we made full use of our picturesque surroundings by bringing out the paintbrushes to paint miniature masterpieces whilst basking in the sun. However, it was after the sun went down that spectacle really came to the fore: an evening, outdoor screening of 'Grease' was the perfect way to round out Arts Week.
This is to sadly but inevitably neglect to mention many more fantastic events which occurred throughout the week. It is also to put a bit of a gloss on it from my personal perspective, which involved large periods of time where I felt I was running around like a headless chicken trying to simultaneously juggle several Ming vases.
However, it has most definitely been a wonderful experience for me to be custodian of Brasenose Arts Week for the year. To be able to contribute to the community is a hugely rewarding thing, and despite my sleep deprivation during the week, the enthusiasm of everybody involved was both infectious and invigorating. If my own 21st birthday is filled with half as much entertainment as I found in Brasenose Arts Week, I will consider it a success.
By Richard Ng (Second Year PPEist)