Students: we all love clubbing, we all love cheese (namely, karaoke) and we have all seen the hilarious viral trend that is The Lip Sync Battle. What happens when you combine these and transform a typical night out into a student lip syncing battle? Twerking, cheering, crowd-pleasing and fierce competition, that’s what.
Celebrities such as Channing Tatum and Snoop Dog have already taken to the stage on the televised program. Think karaoke, but without anyone judging the singing. In our version on Thursday 28th April, the likes of Shakira, Justin Bieber, Eminem, Miley Cyrus and Take That were performed with funky outfits, props and the finishing touch of BEAM Shoes.
To make matters more interesting, Durham University is collegiate. As a student, your college is your identity, it’s where you – for the most part – eat, sleep and socialise. Every student will say their college is the best, without a doubt. So we thought an intercollegiate Lip Sync battle would shake things up a bit. Student performers from 6 different colleges and 3 different year groups formed the eagerly anticipated line up.
Our Lip Sync event was part of the Disco Duck, a new branch of Durham University’s fundraising group, DUCK (Durham University Charities Kommittee – yes, we know it is spelt wrong). DUCK won Student Fundraising Group of the Year in 2014 having raised over £150,000. From expeditions all over the world, to balls, skydiving, marathons, ‘ragraids’, hitch-hiking and numerous other events, there is never a dull moment within DUCK. This year, we started Disco Duck with the aim of offering the same vibes as any other student club night, but always for a charitable cause. Our first two were a success, with hippie and carnival themes, inflatables, popular student DJs and jelly shots. But the Lip Sync was a whole new ball game.
Teaming up with MTV Staying Alive was great, we only met them this year when they came to visit our Charities Careers Fair. We loved hearing about the cause and started planning work with them immediately. They have become the world’s largest media campaign raising HIV awareness, yet still hadn’t branched out much to university students. Their website: mtvstayingalive.org, boasts appearances from numerous celebrities showing their support in preventing HIV, enabling the foundation to continue their international work. They have given 588 grants to support youth-led HIV prevention groups in 68 different countries, not to mention distributing 7 million condoms as part of their campaign. To help them on their way a bit, we gave out some of their condoms on the night, along with MTV Staying Alive pens, badges, bags, lanyards and bracelets, which went down a treat with the tipsy students! If there is anything students love more than stash, its free stash.
If the fabulous and worthy cause behind MTV Staying Alive wasn’t enough to give the Lip Sync night its edge, then their link with MTV itself certainly was. They provided the main prize for the Lip Sync winner: 4 tickets to the Channel 5 Lip Sync Battle UK in London. Other prizes included BEAM Shoes (much sought after in Durham these days), a VIP table package in Loveshack (the club night venue we used for the event), a meal for two at Durham’s swankiest oriental bar, Fat Buddha, and a goodie bag of MTV Staying Alive stash. We felt very lucky to have such kind donations for the prizes, it meant people were keen to get involved despite the impending doom of exam season. We can’t thank Loveshack, BEAM and MTV enough.
Grey College fresher, Calum Scot, stole the show with ‘It’s Raining Men,’ and in close second came ‘The Weather Boys’ from John Snow College, who gave the full boy-band vibe, stripping down from boiler suits to jeans. Judging our 9 performances were university-wide BNOCs (Big Names on Campus), one of them being Georgie Thomas, Durham University’s BEAM Shoes brand ambassador. In accordance with the style of shoe, Georgie was looking for creativity in performances that should be eccentric, colourful, funky and entertaining.
As you can see from our photos, everyone had a blast. Although due to exam season we had less people through the doors than planned, the atmosphere was buzzing and the competition was VERY close. 100% of our profits will be donated to MTV Staying Alive.