CamFM had guests partying in their boogie wonderlandCamFM

Last year, the CamFM Garden Party was one of the highlights of my May Week calendar, offering endless drinks, dancing, and DJs, albeit running out of food. This year, when I saw the Facebook event pop up on my newsfeed, I immediately enquired about the possibility of reviewing it again (for journalistic integrity, of course, not just a free ticket). 

Having been pleasantly surprised by the quality of last year’s event, I was eager to see whether the team had taken on board my recommendations and those of the other happy party-goers, particularly with regards to the food, to improve this time around. Arriving straight from another garden party, it’s safe to say my spirits were high and my dancing shoes were on. Met with free flower garlands upon entrance, it seemed things were off to a wonderful start.

I knew to grab my headphones and a tinny immediately, and sit as close to the food stand as possible without making obvious my concerns about it running out

As had happened previously, things started slowly. The catering team were only just setting up by the time I arrived, at least half an hour after the event’s kick-off, and people were lounging in discrete groups across the lawn of John’s Scholars’ Garden creating a somewhat awkward atmosphere. Feeling like an experienced veteran, I knew to grab my headphones and a tinny immediately, and sit as close to the food stand as possible without making obvious my concerns about it running out.

The slow build-up of the party was certainly not the fault of the organisers, although energy could have been incubated by the presence of food and snacks. Last year, the BBQ, although tasty, was let down by the lack of preparedness of the catering staff and event organisers. Food ran out, guests went hungry. This year, although the food itself was undeniably tastier (the halloumi deserves a special mention), it was perhaps in their efforts to address the shortages they feared that the organisers once again let themselves down.

Good tunes are guaranteed when you have CamFM DJs doing the jobCamFM

Guests were given crosses on their hands to alert the catering staff to anyone trying to get more than one burger, which although ensured fair distribution, but meant that anyone who was particularly hungry (read: me) struggled. For example, some snacks around the garden to accompany the unending supply of beverages would have been warmly welcomed.

It is a credit to the team, however, that the only fault that has stuck with me was with the food. After I’d managed to sneakily secure a second helping, I was ready to boogie, and took my friends to the dancefloor. Soon enough, the rest of the party followed and we spent the next hour or so enjoying the tunes of the CamFM DJs in the sun, our energy levels sustained by the Pimm’s and Stella.

As is (self-proclaimed) tradition in my reviews of such events, I made sure to bolster my take with those of other guests I got chatting to:


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The silent disco was “banger after banger (even though you might have to change channels)”; “It should last longer!”; “It’s all about the dancing.” And one particularly happy customer: “f*cking bonkers!”

Once again, the party staged by the CamFM team was a resounding success; the silent disco was as fun as last year, and the drinks as bottomless. Next year, the third year of the event, perhaps they will have the capacity to expand somewhat. More food and perhaps more entertainment would be the icing on the cake of an otherwise thoroughly enjoyable May Week evening.

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