After weeks of endless Facebook notifications telling me that The Fellowship of St Andrews had posted yet another promotional post about The St Andrews Ball, I was naturally full of both excitement and high expectations for Friday evenings ball. Needless to say, the organisers surpassed expectations and delivered an exceptional night, made whole by the combination of sick music acts, delicious food offerings and easy access to every partygoers favourite friend – alcohol.
At a quick press briefing the assembled journalists, photographers and videographer were given a tour of the beautifully transformed marquee at Lower College Lawn, which was a far cry from the muddy field post-Raisin Monday. Revelers were to walk down a beautifully lit path to the saccharine acoustic accompaniment of The Other Guys and bagpipes (although not at the same time) towards the grand marquee. Inside the sprawling tents awaited the Jazz Society ensemble and complimentary champagne, though guests were understandably limited to one glass. I found the relaxed atmosphere and welcome drink were a perfect way to start the evening.
Taking the opportunity to explore before the more lively student acts started their sets, I found the other half of the marquee to be suitably equipped. Two bars, one offering spirits with mixers and the other offering shots and ‘bombs’ were placed at opposite corners, meaning that there was never a problem with having to queue for too long, unlike at previous events held at Lower College Lawn. In the other corners there were two stands offering yet more free goodies. The event’s principal alcohol sponsor Desperados offered up 900 free mini-bottles of their beer, which were happily downed (although this reviewer notes that due to licensing restrictions these were only available from 10:45pm onwards). Nestled adjacent to the candy floss and in between the two bars The Cottage Kitchen also had a stand in the final corner of the marquee, faced with the not so hard task of promoting their delicious wares.
A third sponsor, the student startup Goodness Gracious Granola, did not have any samples of their goods on offer to partygoers, however members of the press were given a free sample to taste. Readers should be advised that their food is dangerously tasty.
As the evening progressed and guests moved to the dance floor, the musical acts delivered with style. First up was ETC who with the aid of the gruff-yet-effective voice of Leon O’Rouke (our friendly Director of Events and Services) performed covers of classic party songs. Staley Sharples, better known as DJ Kalliope, followed with her set which included plenty of throwback songs with crowd favorite Backstreet Boys numbers, and kept a feel good dance vibe building. Headline act DJ Gentleman Jonny, fresh from his residencies at Sankeys and The Digital Rooms, further stepped the music up a notch with many guests, myself included, barely leaving the dance floor for the duration of his set of slickly remixed tunes.
As the evening drew to a close just past two, the remaining party goers were danced out and ready for their hard earned Dervish and Empire chips. As my friends can attest, the night was truly a success – The St Andrews Ball was a night like no other, where town and gown met up to provide an event that The Fellowship should be proud of.