Looking to be whisked away from the bubble to the City of Masks for a night? Then you ought to have ventured down to Lower College Lawn on Saturday night for the St Andrews Charity Campaign’s inaugural Masquerade Ball; a perfect opportunity to get up to shenanigans, while remaining completely hidden in plain sight.
Masks of all different colours and designs were abound, making it feel like I had stepped into a childhood dream of going to a glamourous Cinderella-esque masquerade ball and gliding gracefully around the dance floor.
With an acoustic ukulele band playing at the entrance of Sallies quad welcoming party-goers upon the twinkling night sky and the overlooking church, guests were immediately entranced into the mystery of the night. Upon entering the marquee, guests were invited over the photo booth, set up in a mystical Venetian style, complete with a cut-out gondola, oar and hat for the gondolier. Near the entrance were blackjack and poker tables set up for those wanting to have a hand at experiencing Casino Royale and attempting their chance at luck and skill (whilst secretly feeling like Bond-girls).
For those with a sweet tooth, like me, there was a cotton candy stall operated by committee members, and Janettas, everyone’s St Andrews ball fare. There was also a bratwurst stall outside for the guests brave enough to step outside the warmth of the marquee. The drinks bar was huge and efficient serving a plethora of choices ensuring that no partygoer went dissatisfied. Incorporating the theme of the Ball were the two special cocktails ‘Masquerade’ and ‘Black Mask’, highlighting the attention to detail given by the committee. Each ticket came with a free drink token and the early bird would have also managed to snag a free shot, encouraging guests to show up early.
The soundtrack of the evening was a mixed bag. Featuring St Andrews bands such as Pink Eye on Picture Day, Blues Society and DJ Joe Grimeh. Though the first few acts of the night were excellent in their own right, there was a certain murmur going around the marquee that the DJ came on too late in the night, by which point many guests had left. However, for those who continued dancing away, the music eventually built up to a crescendo with crowd favourites like Kids by MGMT and the unofficial national anthem of Scotland, 500 Miles by the Proclaimers, encouraging all to sing away in unison, bringing the dance floor to life.
This year’s addition of the charities campaign ball supported Nightline Association, UNICEF and Maggie’s Centres, delivering a fun night with a worthy cause. With a low-key ambiance and the small number of attendees, Masquerade Ball had an exclusive feel that wasn’t forced or stuffy and ensured a somewhat more casual, but also enticing event.