Opening Ball 2014: The Review

Photo: Samantha Marcus

Having attended Opening Ball as a fresher, my expectations were not very high. I had made the classic mistake as a First Year, arriving shortly after 8 with nothing but a small sip of wine beforehand.

This year, I came prepared with the expectation of having to wait an absurd amount of time at a crowded bar and nothing to do. But the Kate Kennedy Club stepped up their game.

With a slightly changed, yet greatly improved venue set up, the multiple access points for music and alcohol resulted in happy ball attendees being able to float from the various rooms within the tent to the outdoor bar and seating area while maintaining their buzz following the complimentary champagne reception.

Prior to the Ball, I spoke with Ball Convener Cyrus Danesh and Yousra Elgabir, both of whom promised a night of sophistication, good music and great company.

Did they deliver? A resounding yes, as the musical acts created a fantastic atmosphere and packed dance floor. With kilted gentleman and women dressed to the nines in their best ball attire, Lower College Lawn has never looked so good.

With Jannetta’s in hand, freshers were able to make their way around the main tent to the Pop-Up Photo Booth or outside to the illuminated seating area opposite Butlers and The Buffalo Food Truck. Many a content gaggle of bedecked and primped freshers huddled together for warmth whilst digging into their long awaited barbecue chips and wraps.

Making our way over to the dance floor, the packed room was a refreshing change from many events in St Andrews, where the lack of attendees in over sized venues make dancing an unappealing option.

The unique saxophone-drums combination gave a truly amazing performance, and you couldn’t help but sway with the music filling the tent.

Photo: Xander Johnson

The highlight of the night for me was undoubtedly the entertainment. With killer opening sets in the main tent form The Fabulous Hurricanes and DJ Asquire and Joe Jones in the outdoor bar, before the main act Seedy Soundsystem took the stage.

After playing at May Ball, the group returned to St Andrews and brought their signature flair and electrifying energy.

Speaking to attendees, there was a good mix of freshers, second years and the odd third year attending with their academic families. Everyone was talking about the spectacular atmosphere in the main tent, and the mesmerizing tattoos of the drummer of Seedy Soundsystem.

I can’t speak highly enough of the group, whose main singer happily posed for The Saint camera mid-set upon spotting us sitting at the foot of the stage, before going on to play an unforgettable set for the enthusiastic (and quite inebriated) dance floor.

Speaking to one group of freshers, they happily reported that the Ball had met their expectations and more, as “one of the best nights they’d had at St Andrews so far”.

Ryan Hubner, a second year, couldn’t help but give his two cents on the Ball:

“The energy was truly palpable, I wish the night had never ended”.

All in all, the Kate Kennedy Club brought their signature charm and sophistication in throwing one of the best parties of the first semester. And for those who didn’t manage to get a ticket? Don’t worry, there’s always May Ball to look forward to.


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