The Kate Kennedy Club Charity Opening Ball has been described by some revellers as “Like a night at the Union, but more dressy.” However, this does the event a disservice. Amongst myself and fellow Freshers, a certain hype existed around the first proper black-tie event of the semester, which helped elevate occasion into something a bit more memorable than a Saturday at Sin City.
Indeed, it came with a certain time investment for many of us Bejants, having spent most of the afternoon on the Internet trying to master the bow tie and pre-drinking with a bottle of champagne rather than the usual Tesco Value vodka. Yet our keenness for the night to be worth the outlay carried through.
Initially, I missed out on the live swing band, after rashly deciding to drink my own champagne rather than the single free glass at the reception, but the other acts who performed throughout the night didn’t disappoint. DJs like Gentleman Jonny and Craig Wilson kept the crowd going throughout the night, reeling off favourites to the expected effect. Seeing the kilted masses do their thing Gangnam-Style was certainly a bit of a departure from the Bop. The fact that we were too busy dancing to notice the transitions between them was a testament to their success. Other distractions dotted about the venue as well, such as the free ice cream stall (some might say a bold choice to mix with alcohol) and photobooths complete with the requisite hipstery props for those contemplating their next profile picture.
Having spent the majority of the night flitting between the dancefloor and the bar – apart from a bizarre sojourn following a friend to a completely empty house to ‘sign a plastercast’ – I left in an attempt to go find the mythical, rumoured KK afterparty continuing the festivities. In this case however, drunkenness was unfortunately paired with the Fresher’s optimism as we were greeted by a house party with bouncer, an unexpectedly common feature of St Andrews life. With opportunistic first years and perturbed fourth years turned away alike, the only logical place to finish the night was Dervish.
As a Fresher, the ball was somewhat of a watershed into feeling like a genuine part of the University, as opposed to a a tourist on a four week binge in East Fife. The shadow of Sallies quad provided a pretty stunning backdrop to the first St Andrews tradition that the class of 2016 would experience.
Photographs by Paige Johnson and Galina Netylko. All rights reserved by Owl Eyes.