Remember the dark day in 2016 when Glitterball had no glitter? Well, that wasn’t a problem this year. I am still blinking glitter out of my eyeballs and it’s been two days.
Any event put on by Saints LGBT+ is guaranteed to be one of the best in the St Andrean social calendar. Glitterball was a riot of colour and sparkle: from the enormous rainbow carpet that stretched from wall to wall, the fairy lights draped over anything that would stay still long enough, to the bowls of glitter that were tossed around with all the drunken abandon 750 students can muster, aesthetically this ball had everything nailed down to an absolute T. Upon arrive there were two beautiful drag queens: Rujazzle the old favourite and a friend who looked like an incredible Narnia/ X-men mashup, and the frankly unreal voice of Valentine Moscovici was gently encouraging the early arrivals to the dance floor. Unfortunately, the free prosecco ran out before this lonely reviewer arrived half an hour after the beginning, which made me rather sympathetic for the full-price payers who wouldn’t get a stab at anything extra save, ahem, more glitter.
This is where the first of a couple of snags began to hit. The location of the Spanish Gardens is a new one for St Andrew’s events. Once the intrigue of the mysterious garden had been satisfied, in the end it was a marquee a little too far from any cashpoints in a very muddy field, with the inevitable need for the dreaded portaloo: which, judging by the smell, didn’t take long to stop working as efficiently as they might have. It also meant that the lack of any food on offer, not even the prerequisite Janettas bike or crepe, was made more evident by the fact that it wasn’t feasible to pop anywhere to alleviate the midnight hunger.
After Moscovici and her ‘Old Men’ jazz troupe came Pink Eye on Picture Day to start moving people along. Speaking as an enormous fan of these boys, they were as brilliant as always and read the crowd well, delivering cheesy hit after cheesy hit until the dance floor was more packed with exuberant dancing than I’ve seen at any other event. It was rather like a mob of 14-year-olds at their first concert as a crowd of screaming women gathered at Jonathan Hewitt’s feet, but all the same it was rather amusing. To follow Pink Eye on Picture Day would always be a tough one, and unfortunately the next band was altogether a bit of a downer: Spook School were a little metal and a little too cool for the vibe of the night, swinging straight into some little known rock songs that had people melting back towards the bar. That’s not to say they weren’t good— they just were a little mismatched for this particular night.
Then there was the drag act, and may I give a special shout out to the boy who got onto the stage with skyscraper silver heels and gave Rujazzle a run for her money: you are my idol and I have never screamed that loudly in my entire life. I have to say, for a ball to have live entertainment for as long as Glitterball did was really wonderful, and will allow me to forgive the DJ just for playing a Spotify playlist off his laptop for the rest of the night (and most of that forgiveness comes for the Pokemon theme tune he remixed).
Really, then, it would have been a hard thing to mess up: get yourself a tent, fill it with colour, glitter and drunk students and you’re on to a winner. I do think it was too expensive for what it was— the £30 ticket was a little steep considering the freebies that come with other balls for the same price, and so perhaps switching location somewhere cheap and cheerful would be the operative for next year. Regardless, I’d recommend every LGBT+ event from DRAG walk to Pride to Glitterball: they’re all so important regardless of sexual orientation or identity, and in this day and age it’s important to remind ourselves to love one another. Plus, y’know, glitter.
All photos courtesy of Lightbox St Andrews