The circus definitely came to town this weekend, and what a show it was! I’ve been excited for this event since I interviewed Ed and Olly, two of the organisers, and it did not fail to impress.
First, the build-up to the event. There were two batches of ticket sales and then wristband collection was on the day of the ball – either at the Union earlier in the day or at Rascals later. Everything appeared to go smoothly, with very snazzy gold wristbands handed out.
Starting with a “Pre-Party Event” at Rascals, it was clear that the organisers planned to go all out. Having arranged Rascals card discounts for ticket holders, more people were encouraged to come to this official predrinks – unusual for the Bubble.
The ball was billed as starting at 20:30, with entertainment including a live band, a capella and DJ sets. Black Sheep were very well received, with a stage invasion and a return for an encore. Described by Camilla Henfrey as “the highlight of the night, a real crowd pleaser” it was easy to see why: great song choices that were played fabulously! The DJs attempted to keep the atmosphere going, and did well, but Black Sheep was a tough act to follow.
Other entertainment included circus games such as the bean bag toss, hoopla and the tin can alley (all of which I embarrassed myself at). To play these games you had to buy tokens at 50p each, which was a fantastic idea as it made logistics very easy and kept queues moving fast. Games were then one token per play and food such as popcorn, candyfloss and other sweet treats cost between two and four tokens. I’m also informed that there was also Janettas ice cream; how I missed that, I don’t know!
It was also great to see people taking the dress code very seriously – black tie with a circus twist. There were ringmasters, circus animals and top hats galore. There was also one brave soul in stilts, but we couldn’t quite work out if he was a performer or just a very keen guest!
Big Top was undeniably a good night. Everyone seemed to be having fun (the bartenders even had a cheeky dance to Call Me Maybe) and the theme was consistent throughout the event without being stifling. It would be nice to see this ball make a return next year, as you could tell that this was a new type of evening for St Andrews, and I feel it could be improved by becoming an established annual event.
In conclusion, how could you go wrong with facepaint, magicians, fire eaters and jugglers? Hats off to you, Big Top Ball Committee: you did very well!