For one night only, a few private rooms became public venues. On Thursday evening, during this year’s edition of the annual Stukafest, students were able to attend performances by 12 different artists.

Holiday romance

The charming Flemish act ‘Nele Needs a Holiday’ immediately steals her audience’s hearts with her songs about bad luck in love. Strumming a ukulele, she weaves between the listening students on pretty leather boots. “Don’t listen to me; being in love is wonderful,” urges Nele as she pours her heart out.

When Nele runs into a problem playing one of the chords on her ukulele, she makes out your faithful EM correspondent: “I bet he’s going to write now that there were some hiccups from time to time.” In an attempt at repartee, I claim “I only want to write down her phone number.” Nele immediately starts singing a number, which unfortunately turns out to be that of her manager, Jef. This evening, Nele not only finds her holiday destination. With her sense of humour and charm, she even manages to make her audience feel a bit warm and fuzzy.

Impromptu orchestra

Upon arrival, the German percussionist Ulas Aksunger starts assigning the audience members roles in his impromptu orchestra. Like a regular conductor, Ulas directs his musicians, with his baton doubling as a drum stick. While the guests and housemates drum and clap, host Sjoerd dances in the corner of his room, without a care in the world. “Not necessarily because the music’s that good, but because it’s a great feeling.”

Architect of the future

In addition to the smell of spring rolls and weed, the performance by Melanin Kris fuses music and storytelling. In a dark student room above the Chinese restaurant ‘De Lange Muur’ on West-Kruiskade, the visitors are introduced to this ‘architect of the future’. How exactly is quite interesting too: Kris joins the audience in watching his own video clip.

Thankfully, he also gives a live show later on. Sitting with a MacBook on his lap, he attacks quite a few sacred cows with his ‘Afro-futurist’ performance. “He’s doing completely his own thing,” student Jet whispers in our ear after the second song. Deep bass tones are drowned out by lines of poetry in which the architect lays out his plans for the future. At the end of the evening, the audience still isn’t clear about Kris’s outlook, but hopefully it’s just as bright as Kris himself.

This great evening is concluded with an after party at Rotown. The performers, their audience and the organisers all bump into each other on the dance floor, after it had once again become clear this year that you can also throw a great get-together in an ordinary student room.