We’ve barely been back a month, and I’ve not even finished unpacking, but it seems like the onslaught of events for the semester has already begun.
Whilst it’s true we’ve already had STARFIELDS, for me the first big event of the year has always been Bongo. Now a boring fifth-year, I like to think I’ve been to my fair share of “black-tie” events in St Andrews. Whilst it’s definitely true that they’re what St Andrews does best – I think half the town is on one event committee or another – they can get a bit staid.
You go, inevitably lose your friends, wander around for a bit and then realise that you’ve drunk far too much in your attempt to get your money’s worth out of a night you’ve paid through the nose for and have to go home.
Bongo, however, has managed to stay different.
Perhaps it’s the unusual venue of Crail Airfield, the always excellent live music, or the sometimes hilarious things people come dressed as (my academic mum once went as a glittery parrot, replete with feathers and full face of paint). Whatever it is, Bongo has a knack for recreating that first-year feeling time and time again.
Last year was my third time attending, but I managed to drag a couple of fourth-years who had never been before and they spent the whole evening pressed up against the stage, dancing away. When you’ve done the rounds of the big balls in this town, it can be hard to think of something new to keep students excited, but Bongo definitely knows how to – quite simply – throw a bloody good party. I shouldn’t imagine this year’s ball will be any different.
It’s also amazing to see how the committee have helped support the Xavier Project, the charity they have been raising money for since 2007 and which was created by St Andrews alumnus Ed Page. Raising £10,000 last year alone, their efforts have also helped create ‘Rafiki Fabrix’, a company that employs refugees to make colourful trousers, which the Bongo committee are encouraging people to buy and wear to the ball itself. Which brings us onto the dress code…
This year, as with every year, the theme is black tie but with “bold colours and bright prints”, and Tash Dunk, one of the executive directors of the ball encourages everyone to “really go to town”. Given that everyone in St Andrews loves an excuse to dress up, I’m sure attendees won’t need asking twice.
Whatever you decide to wear, I personally will relish the opportunity to go to a ball in trainers. It’s hard to Bongo properly in heels.
Tickets for Bongo go on sale tomorrow (Friday), and more information about the event can be found on their Facebook page.