The first thing that one noticed upon entrance to DRA’s Arabian Nights ball was a sumptuously decorated tent. The organisers had really tried with their theme as they attempted to turn Kinkell into an “Arabian palace” complete with belly dancers and hookahs.

Guests were greeted with a free drink, and many then mulled around an Arabian Nights inspired sitting area. Outside the sitting area, Kinkell’s main dance floor and bar appeared to be in their usual state. However, organizers went all out while decorating the hookah area; not only was there more than one hookah (I’m talking to you Bongo Ball), but the beautiful lights and pillows also gave the room a more chilled out vibe. Luckily for non-hookah fans, a bar was also present. Unfortunately, the artificially lit bar slightly detracted from the relaxing atmosphere.

Even though the venue was well-decorated, the vast majority of attendees ignored the Arabian theme in their dress. Some students did attempt to dress up, but their efforts were rather subtle – usually just a headband or bindi-inspired jewels.

Despite the disappointing dress of attendees, there certainly wasn’t a lack of them—over 830 guests kept the party going all night. The buzz was also hyped up by the event performers, which included the Black Sheep Music Society, the Other Guys, local DJs and Afishal from Britain’s Got Talent.

Within the venue, there were also two photo booths, and another separate room with free Jannetta’s ice cream. Besides the Jannetta’s, the second most captivating feature of the room was an elevated platform with belly dancers and several brave students, which garnered an audience of attendees who were still in an ice-cream induced stupor. Although I enjoyed the very un-Arabian Jannetta’s, the event would have been even better if the event organizers alternatively featured snack food from the countries featured in Arabian Nights. (Or if Jannetta’s created a chai tea flavour – just saying.)

Considering the scope of the event, however, I was quite impressed by its execution. Overall, the whole night was well organized and security managed to keep the shenanigans to a minimum. DRA Ball was by far my favourite event that I have attended at Kinkell Byre and I am looking forward to seeing what they can pull off next year.

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