On Saturday 21 April St Andrews played host to a Venetian tradition. The Masquerade Ball is well known for being the event where students don pieces of cardboard and plastic, often with the odd feather, and dance to jazz, swing, and some seriously mashed-up beats.
This year the event was held in St. Mary’s Quad, which was decked out in bunting and was full of opportunities to have a good time. There was a pizza van, provided by Edinburgh pizza company La Favourita, a shisha tent, and a large marquee which held two bars and a stage flanked by enormous speakers. The ticket price included three free drinks.
The crowd danced the night away to the likes of The Blueswater Collective and The Correspondents, followed by a DJ set playing everything from Sister Sledge’s disco hit He’s the Greatest Dancer to straight house, drum n’ bass and ambient music. There was also a professional photography station, with prints available from as little as £2.
The night went down a storm, with the supporting bands being well-received, particularly The Blueswater Collective who played hits by Elvis and Jimi Hendrix, along with their own jazz-rock infused twist. Reaction to headliners The Correspondents, however, was mixed. “It would have been nice if they had played songs that people knew”, one partygoer said, whilst another remarked that “it wasn’t very dancey.”
Despite that, the event was a smash hit with tickets selling out and people partying into the wee hours. The Masquerade Ball was sponsored by, among others, Kopparberg cider and Greenall’s Gin and was this year, as it has been since its foundation, in aid of the Cystic Fibrosis Trust. It seems quite certain that, wherever the event is held next year, and however it turns out; there will always be a small part of St Andrews dedicated to Venice.