The Kate Kennedy Club’s Opening Ball is a rite of passage for new students in St Andrews, and this year’s event did not disappoint. From early on in the evening, there was an exciting atmosphere surrounding the event, with taxis full of students looking very stylish in beautiful dresses and smart suits (including quite a few men wearing kilts or tartan trousers!).
On their arrival, guests walked through the beautiful St Salvator’s Quad where a bagpiper was playing, giving the event an authentic Scottish flavour. As well as this, there was an excellent selection of free food: Jannetta’s ice cream, cotton candy and popcorn. Or if you wanted something a bit more substantial, local restaurant Blackhorn had a food truck, where a burger and fries could be purchased for just £5. It was a nice touch to include so much in the ticket. However, champagne stopped being served just after 9:30, meaning that some guests did not get any, and there was not enough ice cream for everyone.
The layout of the ball was well thought out. In the large tent there was a square bar with some seating to the side, and the main dance floor was next to this. The square bar was excellent because it meant that a lot of people could be served at once. Outside, there was a smaller marquee with more music. There was a lot of additional seating and outside, as well as some outdoor heaters – definitely a great idea on such a cold night!
A particular highlight of the evening was the music. There was a great selection of acts during the night, and it was great to have two dance floors. Both were packed throughout the night, and there was something for everyone. The production was particularly impressive. There was real attention to detail here, and the lighting display with lasers was a fun touch.
Overall, the event seemed to go smoothly. Just take the coat check – incredibly well organized, and guests did not have to line up for long on their way out. However, something that definitely needs to be improved upon for next year is cleaning up during the event. Although there were a couple of bins for trash, the floors were badly littered with used plastic champagne glasses, cups and food wrappers. More attention to detail here would have gone a long way.
Opening Ball was overall a brilliant event. It had great music and a lot was included in the ticket. The music was impressive, as was the staging. For freshers, it was a fantastic first St Andrews ball, and for returners, it was such a great way to start a new year. Sophisticated, glamorous and fun, Opening Ball was a huge success.
Photos by Amir Ali Emami