Firstly, if that title doesn’t immediately make you want to burst into song, please watch this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wwpTpPEAUps. Possibly several times.
In early January in 2011, I made a decision that was quite extraordinary for me, because it went completely against two of my greatest principles: laziness and avoiding interaction with other people at all costs. I volunteered for something.
It’s been a few months now since I wrote a piece about my first Rev rehearsal and ended it by saying how “I started thinking about if there were any ways I could contribute to the choir more myself”. Now that term one is over and term two is beginning, it’s time to talk a little about what came next, how it took me completely out of my comfort zone and how I absolutely wouldn’t go back and change it.
Have you just arrived at university? Maybe you’re a Fresher, leaving home for the first time and looking to participate in as many aspects of university life as possible. Maybe you’re returning for a second or third or fourth year, maybe you’re even a postgraduate, but you’re adjusting to the university environment and ready to become more involved. Amongst the massed confusion of student societies and often intimidating walls of older, more established students, it can be difficult to find the place that fits you. I was helping Bristol Rev run their stall for Freshers’ Fair the other day and I spent a lot of time reassuring people that we didn’t mind if they couldn’t sing, that we didn’t mind if they could sing perfectly, that we were happy if they were atheists and that we were happy if they were Christians. There’s a lot of explaining to be done and a lot of nerves to calm. It brought back memories of my first experience of university, and of Rev. Maybe my story can help reassure you.
Rev loves a good acronym. There’s WiM, which stands for “Slightly Longer than a Week in April that used to be in March”, there’s RiG, which stands for “Isn’t it lucky that when Rev decided it wanted to be in Europe for a few days they picked Germany and not somewhere like Denmark, where they would have wanted to get RiD of us?” I’ve recently been learning about our third acronym, RESITS.
Piazza will probably always be my favourite National Rev event. I’ll admit I’m a little biased – I’m a Warwick Revver through and through and Warwick Rev is the home of Piazza – but that’s not the only reason. Piazza has charms that the bigger events can’t match. Whereas WiM and RESITS both last a whole week, Piazza is just a weekend, which means less stress, (slightly) less exhaustion and less hard work. WiM changes place every year so it’s difficult to become attached to one location, RESITS is in Edinburgh, a long way from a lot of the England dwelling members of Rev, but the University of Warwick is the most central Rev university and every year you can return to see what is the same and what has changed. For old Warwick Revvers who still live in Coventry, it’s hard to avoid, especially this year, when the weekend was also host to Warwick Rev’s twentieth birthday party. Even if you left Rev years ago, you’re still welcome here.
So, what is Piazza Weekend? It takes its name from the Piazza; a mythical place lying deep at the heart of the University of Warwick, between the Student Union, the Arts Centre and Rootes building. It’s a source of many rumours and legends. Sometimes, it’s even said, Rev concerts used to be held on the Piazza itself, before Warwick Student Arts Festival and rain and football intervened. Whilst no one is sure how true that is, the weekend of Warwick Rev’s Summer concert is and will always be known as Piazza Weekend.