While Christmas Break is typically reserved for a quiet month spent with family (disregarding the odd ski trip or two), Spring Break allows us a fortnight of impromptu world exploration. For two weeks, those fortunate students free from deadlines flood the St Andrean Facebooksphere with check-ins, flight announcements, and various polaroids, snapchats, and selfies taken throughout their travels. Spanning from Amsterdam to Dubai to Tokyo, Spring Break is an event unto itself.
Despite the struggle of distance and time differences, our post-break calendar remains crowded with an eclectic range of events as committees continue to prepare for the busy months ahead. As we all brace ourselves for the final stretch of school before summer, St Andrews will furnish our days and nights with a spread that surpasses the already-impressive happenings of the preceding semesters.
Semester One has its balls; Semester Two Pt. I has fashion shows. Semester Two Pt. II manages to include both of these things and much, much more.
Capitalising on a week set before deadlines have begun to loom, the Scandinavian Society holds the responsibility of throwing the first notable event of the post-break season. On Thursday 31 March, Afterski 2016 will present impressive amounts of jager for a classic Scandinavian night to forget. Priced at £10 per head, tickets appear to be more accessible to the general (i.e. non-Scandinavian) public than those for Crayfish Dinner or Nobel Ball. The Saint recommends.
On heels of Afterski, Sitara* will round out our year of fashion shows. The only show to bill itself as a celebration of culture rather than simply fashion, Sitara* separates itself from the herd metaphorically by enchanting guests with diverse depictions of the Asian arts, and also literally by being held in a different month from FS, DONT WALK, and Catwalk. Taking place this year at Lower College Lawn, Sitara* will likely impress those in attendance on 1 April. The Saint recommends.
Although the majority of balls take place in Semester One, the School of Economics and the School of Management will band together on 9 April to host the dinner and evening of dancing that is known as the Bull and the Bear Ball. Before break, many people took critical note of the advertisements spray-painted onto the pavement around town, an imitation of DONT WALK’s yearly marketing campaign. Regurgitating pre-existing ideas and relying on other people to clean up the mess? In a way, the campaign truly represents the spirit of Economics and Management.
Unlike the other events listed here, the 90th Kate Kennedy Procession is free to all. Indeed, it would be perhaps more difficult to avoid attending the Procession, as on Saturday 9 April it will fill the streets of St Andrews with a colourful parade of characters played by students and locals alike. In this particularly historic year, the Kate Kennedy Club will fulfil its duty to preserve the storied past of St Andrews with depictions of Mary Queen of Scots, John Cleese, and other iconic figures. Anyone can visit the 90th Anniversary Marquee on Lower College Lawn from 10am onwards to participate in the pre-Procession festivities. Food, book talks, musical performances, and battle re-enactments will all be included in the fun. The Saint recommends.
As the weather improves with the approach of spring, Under Canvas will take advantage of the warmth with a predominantly outdoor event. For a £35 price tag, UC offers two free drinks for the first 400 arrivals and a relaxed mélange of music to suit all tastes. Held on the evening of Friday 15 April, the festival will begin as a laid-back opportunity to bask in the fading rays of sun before imbibing the aforementioned drinks and taking to the dancefloor for hip hop and house. The Saint recommends being one of the first 400 arrivals.
For one night only on Wednesday 20 April, students can live out their dream of being rejected in front of hundreds of their peers in this St Andrews-version of the popular game show Take Me Out. A quick summary: a group of women will take to the stage as a single man attempts to persuade one of them to date him (a scene likely familiar to anyone present during last call at Ma Bells). Should none of the women accept, he will be played out to the tune of “All By Myself.” Hosted by Childreach International, the evening ought to be particularly popular amongst fans of schadenfreude. The rest of us would probably require the ensuing Sinners to wash off the feelings of grime incurred by such a bizarre display of mating culture.
On Saturday 23 April, the Polo Tournament returns to the Errol Park Estate for what we can only hope will be a sunny day of garden party-esque fun. In keeping with the theme of luxury automobiles, this year’s tournament is sponsored by the Murray Motor Company, taking the term “horse-powered” to new, literal levels. This year’s ticket tier system offers VVIP wristbands, which raises the question: Has self-importance gone too far? (Polo’s Very Very Important Person vs DONT WALK’s Super Very Important Person. Discuss.) The Saint recommends (if you can go VVIP).
On the last night of April, the town will come alive with house parties that refuse to quit, as we all attempt to get drunk enough to stomach a morning dive into the North Sea. Maybe I’m not as adventurous as I could be, but the notion of running into freezing cold water at 5am surrounded by ambulances, cameras, and screaming naked men sounds like something out of a Hunger Games-inspired nightmare. The May Dip parties should not be missed, nor should the array of breakfasts provided the next morning. For the Dip itself, however, one might be better off volunteering to guard everyone else’s belongings, a valiant task in its own right. Tradition is tradition though, so The Saint recommends.
Billed as the final significant event of the year, May Ball occupies a special place in all of our hearts as an exemplification of the things St Andrews has come to be known for. Featuring black tie, champagne, a wristband-enforced class system, and excellent music, the ball is viewed by most as a must-attend. Priced at £45, classic tickets will provide guests with all of the usual Kinkell fun (along with access to a slew of fairground rides outside), while for £25 more VIP ticket-holders will be granted entry to a separate tent with a dancefloor befitting their very important status. Celebrating 90 years of history, this year’s May Ball will certainly be one to remember. The Saint recommends.
Finally, I can only attribute the large amount of attendees here to confusion with the actual May Ball: The St Andrews May Ball, to be clear, is unaffiliated with the May Ball that we have come to know and love. If you find yourself in town on 28 May, you would be better off at the Vic, in the library, or watching Netflix in your bed.