The Welly Ball is one of the most unique events featured in the festive calendar, and in the larger St Andrews social calendar. Set up as an after party to The Challenge, which is a 15 year-old inter-university clay pigeon shooting tournament, it has since grown into one of St Andrews’ most awaited evenings and this year is no different.
With more than 300 tickets purchased by other university students and 500 tickets available to St Andreans for the after party, it will be a chance to party with a new set of faces. An exciting prospect, as we are often cut-off from universities located outside the Bubble. People come from far and wide to get to St Andrews for the Welly Ball (…well, from Aberdeen and Exeter); which just goes to show that the name of Welly Ball is known far beyond the East Fife coast.
The Saint met up with two Welly Ball committee members; Isa Ouwehand, Press Representative, and Milla Bryden, Front of House, to gain greater insight into this intriguing event. Both promised an event that will be “bigger than last year’s” both literally, and figuratively.
For starters, each round table will hold ten dinner guests instead of the previous eight, in the hopes of cultivating a “more social, smarter feel.” As is customary for such a popular event, the dinner tables are chosen by ballot (although just how much of this is left up to chance remains to be seen). The girls assured The Saint that dinner tickets seemed to have become exponentially more popular this year, with applications for the already-popular ballot increasingly massively.
Fortunately for those keen partygoers unlucky enough to have missed out on one of the coveted dinner tickets – there’s no need to miss out on the Welly fun entirely; they can still opt for tickets to the after party which go on sale this week.
The Saint heard that this year, the Welly Ball committee unanimously decided to take a new course and donate to the Charlie Waller Memorial Trust, which raises awareness about and helps those suffering with depression, instead of supporting the typical agrarian charity.
Isa Ouwehand added:
“Most of us have experienced depression first or second hand, making the cause more accessible than an agricultural one.”
The dress code is pretty much self- evident – partygoers are expected to sport wellies, in true St Andrean fashion, juxtaposing the Black Tie dress code of the event. Ladies are advised to wear knee length dresses in order to showcase their wellies, the key aspect of the dress code. Gents are expected to wear a classical suit with their wellies, setting the tone of the event to be one that is playful and light-hearted, so don’t be afraid to don jazzy jackets and funky tops.
In terms of entertainment, Will and the People, Sunta, Joe Jones and Ashton Squires will be busting tunes for after party-goers to dance the night away to. The atmosphere is best summed up as ‘fun, ridiculous and crazy’, making it an opportunity to really let loose before the dreaded exam season kicks in…
For all the first years, the month of November is basically St Andrews’ unofficial ball season; and whilst the multiple balls are all exciting in their own way, Welly Ball is a recurring event that is so quintessentially St Andrean in nature that it’s hard not to get excited over. It is also a great way to be introduced to Kinkell Byre (you’ll be more than au fait with it soon enough) as this is “the first sit-down dinner and black tie event held at Kinkell Byre.”
Another exciting prospect for ladies is the idea of a night of doing away with those pesky, pinchy heels; your feet will definitely not hurt as much after dancing the night away in wellies. Based on everything I’ve heard and read about this year’s Welly Ball, I would definitely consider it worth the £20 ticket price.
So if you too fancy getting in on the act, be sure to head to the ticket sales on Thursday and Friday in front of The Vic from 1 pm until 5 pm to pick up your invite to the only ball which you can wear wellies to and not look like an idiot.