Similar to what happens on most nights out in St. Andrews, this year’s Christmas Ball followed the tradition of showing face at the SU with the Just So society’s pre-event. Students had worked hard to decorate the main bar with tinsel and a printed New York City skyline, accompanied with classic Christmas tunes, in order to get everyone excited for the festive ball. It was a nice opportunity to have the chance to see your friends and get in the Christmas spirit before arriving at Kinkell Byre on the bus.
One of the night’s most significant features was the various musical acts that were performing. Those who arrived at the beginning of the event were welcomed with a Cappella from The Accidentals, whilst the Jazzworks jammed out on the main stage. The syncopated rhythms and walking basses in the jazz were so different to the music people routinely listen to in St. Andrews and made the ball truly special. This uniqueness was then furthered with the subsequent performances, The Black Sheep Music Society and Ricky Thunder & The Thought Police, who played blues and alternative styles of music, instead of focusing solely on what is in the charts.
Everyone was having fun with their friends regardless of what act was playing, as the atmosphere on and off the dance floor was always lively and exciting. People were socialising with that person in their tutorial who they smile at without knowing their name, and pretending like they do not have the spend the entirety of this week in the library. One continual complaint that I kept receiving, however, was the fact that the bouncers were not allowing anyone to take their heels off (- especially when they themselves were in flat shoes). People told me that they had never known this to be a problem at previous balls so I was unsure, personally, why it would be an issue now. Those in high-heels soldiered on nonetheless, and carried on having a “fantastic” time.
The vision for this year’s Christmas Ball was received with various reactions. Some people struggled to understand how Kinkell was supposed to be New York, and others felt as if the committee had turned our Bubble into a cosmopolitan city. Apart from the street signs and the food stalls in the marquee, which reminded me of NYC street food, I also struggled to understand how the event was intended to be the Big Apple. My favourite elements were probably the Christmas tree and the elf you could get a professional photo with, neither of which scream the Big Apple at Christmas. Overall, however, nobody was having a bad time, which was most likely one of the committee’s biggest goals. Even though the theme might not have been aesthetically clear, everyone was partying hard and celebrating with their friends.
I would highly recommend attending the ball for anyone who was unable to this year as it is an event not like any other in our small, seaside town.