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”.
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.
After being around for 90 years, the Kate Kennedy Club is expected to know how to throw a solid event, and they did not disappoint. May Ball has always been an institutional ball that freshers and graduating students always enjoy. From the classic fair rides to great music, May Ball delivered their standard ball on a silver platter. Unlike years previous, people did not have to queue from the wee hours in the morning to grab a coveted ticket, making the whole process all the more enjoyable. As per usual, there were three types of tickets, but the main question is: is it worth that extra few pounds to get some of the perks?
On Saturday night, Kinkell Byre sparkled with the lights of the annual May Ball as hundreds of St Andrews students descended upon that lofty hill overlooking our picturesque town. While the time-consuming bus transfers may be irritating and at times disorganised, the ability to leave town for an evening is always welcomed. As the last ball of the academic year and the last general black tie event before the advent of exams, May Ball is a unique occasion that permits the student population to dance off their cares and worries for one last time before returning to haunt the library.
With coursework deadlines reached and classes coming to a close, the arduous prospect of exams is on the minds of all in the St Andrews community. However, spring has sprung and it is time for one last night of fun and extravagance before the trials and tribulations of the exam season descend. The Kate Kennedy Club, this year presents their renowned May Ball at Kinkell Byre on May 2nd following on from May Dip.
As one of the last balls of the year, May Ball carried high expectations for me. This year it definitely had the shock factor with a choice of a whirling rides, sweet candy floss and the jamming dance floor. No matter where you went first, you were sure to have a good time.
Exams are upon us and, as per usual, the sun has found its way to St Andrews just in time for our self-imposed library solitude. Nerves are tightly wound. You’re gnashing your teeth over the time lost by May Dip and May Ball hangovers and avoiding eye contact with that friend whose only topic of conversation this week is spider diagrams.