Sunday saw the latest edition of the Kate Kennedy Charity May Ball, traditionally the year’s largest and most esteemed event — this year’s instalment was no different. At the end of April, the KK oversee the Gaudie, a torchlit procession down the pier in honour of John Honey, a student who in 1800 rescued victims from a nearby shipwreck. For many, this is the last event of this year: a fitting final act for not only the Candlemas semester but for the academic year (ignoring the daunting prospect of graduation for the elderly among us). The KK May Ball provided the joie de vivre before the uncertainty of these exams and, with Kinkell Byre as the backdrop, achieved exactly the kind of night we were all in need of. The KK is proud that: “The May Ball has donated tens of thousands of pounds to local and Scottish charities throughout its long history and continues to raise awareness of important causes both in Fife and across the country”.
Last Saturday, in a picturesque field in Perthshire, the St Andrews Polo Society held their annual tournament amidst champagne, cigars, and, perhaps somewhat expectedly, rain. Perhaps the most summery of the Spring term’s events, the Polo tournament allowed students a brief moment of pause before revision weeks begin, in an event that proved Scotland’s residents will dress up whatever the weather. Garden party attire was encouraged, though with the proviso that “all weather is a possibility”, and students did their best to fulfil expectation: bright colours bedecked Errol Park’s grounds, that switched to umbrellas when the heavens (as is custom) opened in late April.
DONT WALK: Sorgiamo stayed true to its word this week, as the event rose from the ashes on a new date, at a new venue, but with all the glitz and glamour one has come to expect from the DW committee. Originally scheduled to happen on the 2nd of March but cancelled due to safety fears, many were left wondering what was to come of the event: would a rescheduling hurt ticket sales, what would happen with rebooking acts, and the logistics of having to put on a whole new show.
Spring is fashion show season in St Andrews, and in the wake of a show-stopping FS and a stopped-show DONT WALK, CATWALK: Perception had much of an occasion to rise to. And rise they did; goodie bags featuring coupons for a slice of the St Andrews staple Mozza’s, pink Slingsby’s G&Ts on entry, and cupcake servers meandering 601 prepped guests for a night perfectly organized and choreographed to showcase the beautiful boldness of CATWALK. This year the event was supporting the local, national, and international charities Fife Women’s Aid (FWA), Wave Project, and Doctors Without Borders (MSF) respectively.
Even following last year’s cancellation, and with the threat of this year’s event going the same way after DONT WALK’s postponement, Oktoberfest 2019 proved a unmitigated triumph. Having an Oktoberfest celebration in March… in Scotland… may not seem like the most sound recipe for success for an event. Yet the committee managed it superbly, organising an all-day affair to rival the Polo in April with a hall decked with three bars and traditional German decorations.
Every year, second semester rolls around and St Andrews fulfils all the stereotypes we hear about before arriving, with an inundation of balls and fashion shows. For some of us, that means filling our weekends with glitzy hairstyles, dresses/suits and glamorous nights out with our friends. For others, myself usually among them, it means that our studies and/or sleep is periodically punctuated with the loud revelry of people returning from those nights out.
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.