At the earlier time of 3:30pm (whether this is to avoid collision with Christmas Ball pres is up for debate), the Acapella Society committee scheduled a holiday bonanza this year. All six St Andrews groups performed alongside worldwide hit, Trinity College Dublin’s The Trinitones, following their successful US-tour and having gained 23 million views on their viral video of a George Ezra medley. This event, supporting Music in Hospitals & Care Scotland (MiHC), helped not only to boost the town’s morale in the longer, darker nights, but also to raise much-needed funds for a charity whose “live musical sessions are designed to humanise clinical settings, to reach and connect people, to encourage communication and meaningful interactions and to elicit emotions and memories when it matters most.”
From thousands of twinkling lights, to multiple chocolate fountains and spirited Christmas music, guests truly fell down the rabbit hole at this year’s Mermaid’s Christmas Ball. Christmas Ball is always one of the most anticipated nights of the year, and it certainly didn’t disappoint. Everyone was having a fabulous time, whether it was their first time or their fourth.
While ‘The Challenge’ may sound like a cringey 5pm game show, it is actually an annual November shooting competition that brings over 140 shots from universities around the country to East Fife. Some might see the Welly Ball that follows as a quintessentially St Andrews event – playing host to thousands of students in ball gowns, tweed, and most importantly, wellies – but it remains one of the few cross-university events that the town hosts, with attendees from as far as Exeter. The Clay Pigeon Shooting Club somehow manages a finely-tuned schedule starting with a day for the shots and then followed by a ball for both Dinner and After Party guests, greatly to their credit. Welly 2018, though not without its detractions, was yet again a fun experience, with the proceeds going to a great cause. Plus, it had the added bonus of Wellington boots as a barrier both to the usual mud, and toe-stepping revelry of Kinkell.
This year, FS proved to us its worthiness as a St Andrews staple event in its ability to bounce back with a fervour after last year’s blustery debacle. It is fair to say, through no fault of FS, the circumstances of last year’s show left everyone feeling disappointed and the event was underwhelming due to many guests bailing on the show and getting refunds for their tickets. This year, however, the hype was back with a vengeance as everyone was even more excited to attend, myself included. As a second year, having never attended the event before I was especially glad to be attending this year and I was initially struck by the fact this was a student-run event due to its magnitude, the lighting, music and choreography. Subsequently, it was no surprise to me that FS is hailed as one of the most successful student-run events in the UK. The show ran smoothly and professionally.
Following their smashing launch dinner and after-party, the arty provocateur of the St Andrews fashion dynasty DONT WALK released a spectacular new online presence to further promote the show coming the 24th of February. The sleek, newly-designed website debuted a time capsule of DW’s past ten years with an archive gallery of never-before-seen media. What DW is offering now is a fully fleshed-out image of the show’s persona, a digital family photo album illuminating the depths of the selectively accessible event. Where the initial introductory video only provided flashes of stoic models betwixt mirrors and fluorescent lighting, this launch effectively pulls back the covers whilst simultaneously maintaining an air of mystery.
Welly Ball is coming up this weekend, and as one of St Andrews’ most-attended events of first semester, this year is guaranteed to be a hit. Taking place on Saturday the 11th of November at Kinkell Byre, the ball has increased their capacity and budget to accommodate 2000 guests at both the dinner and the after-party. There will be two music options, one in the main barn and one in the marquee. For the fourth year running Welly Ball will be supporting the Charlie Waller Memorial Trust, and the committee is proud to announce that they have been awarded a prize for their continued contributions to this organisation.
This year House of Horror upped the ante with their Dreamland Amusement Park themed event. The ever trustworthy St. Andrews venue of Kinkell Byre was transformed into a replica of the greatest amusement park in history, Dreamland in Coney Island, New York. In 1911, a ride called Hell Gate burst into flames, rendering Dreamland no more by the morning. The Dreamland of 1911 had everything conceivable, from lion tamers and rail roads; and on 31st October 2017, House of Horror introduced new elements to their event such as fairground rides, carnival games and shots upon entry, bringing Dreamland back to life and making House of Horror 2017 the best yet.
Having sold out online in just a few days, all you could hear up and down our three streets was people either excited about the House of Horror launch party, or annoyed they hadn’t clicked that Fixr link and snapped one up. Everyone arrived with high hopes, anticipation and curiosity about what the spooky evening would entail. The event was the launch of the annual House of Horror Halloween event, which will be held in Kinkell Byre on October 31st in support of the Charity Impact Arts. After Tuesday night’s fun, the main event should not be one to miss.
If there is one thing that St Andrews is known for across the nation, it is that we, the students, love lavish events and attend them regularly. We convey this illusory image that the price does not matter – we are willing to pay for it – but I know that that is not the truth for a majority of students. In fact, we want to guarantee that our money is going towards something great and, when the Kate Kennedy committee proposes an event that starts at £45, we want the reassurance that skimping on cheaper meals for the next few weeks will be worth it. It is safe to say, however, that the KK knows what they are doing. On the eve of May Dip this year, the Kinkell Byre hosted – handily – one of the most entertaining nights of the year.
Looking to escape the Bubble? Take a trip to Emerald City on February 27th with Dance Soc’s Oz Ball! Beginning at 8:30pm at Younger Hall, guests can take a break from the lull of student life with the Wizard of Oz themed ball, whose low ticket price of ₤15 makes it easily one of the best values in St Andrews, and includes discounted entry (₤1) to The Vic for the After Oz Party.