It is often said that the best way to judge a person’s character is how they treat a stranger, thus separating the supportive Samaritans of the world from the unwanted touches of a Trump. The same is very much true of events. As I traded the Siberian winds of Market Street for the warmth of the DONT WALK Launch party, I debated what kind of character I, a relative stranger, was yet to experience.
I needn’t have had any worries, it seems. After walking past the menagerie of vegetables that adorns Forgans’ entrance, I became swiftly engrossed in the launch, a Campus Society sponsored dinner and afterparty. While it is true that the hanging manikin shaped cut-outs acted as guillotines to some members of the party, it can’t be denied that the chic atmosphere of Forgans had been brought up another notch by the committee. As for the fact that I barely knew anyone? A good opportunity to dispel rumours and make new friends.
It’s easy to assume, as a committee that literally models itself on a world of elitism and exclusivity, that the DONT WALK launch would carry an undertone of these attributes. What I experienced couldn’t be further from the truth: despite the intimacy of the launch there was just the same amicable openness as at any St Andrean event. Uniquely, tickets had been purchased not through Fixr or Tilt, but through YoYo Wallet, a mobile payment app also used by our Students’ Union.
Half an hour after our arrival, dinner was served – three courses and several bottles of social lubricant, always a good sign. The deliberate mixture of years at the table provided a range of conversation. Looking around at the committee’s decorations, one could see how the event had brought an understated sense of class to the venue, with hanging lights softly illuminating the room.
Service was fast, the meal excellent, and I had enough space to attack my food without fear of my elbow landing me with an assault charge. More impressive still was how, once sticky toffee puddings having been demolished, the room was suddenly clear as the venue seamlessly went from formal dinner to afterparty. With the arrival of the after-party goers and the appearance of the DJ, the next, more challenging, phase of the launch was all set to begin.
As I looked across the quickly filling room, I attempted to gauge the feel of the night to come and weigh my next move. Quickly I was convinced that I needed more drinks. Yet, here we see the only issue of using Forgans as a venue: the size of the bar. I envied Moses’ task of dividing the Red Sea as I attempted to order and protect my precious G&T. The need to re-load a dishwasher put one out of the bartenders out of commission, further compounding the problem.
The spacious dance floor added a needed extra dimension to the event, as it had enough intimacy to enjoy the experience without being claustrophobic or stunting any of the conversation occurring around the outside edges. I waded in to represent an erratic variation of modern dance. Despite mixed results, I managed to forget completely about the time, the real sign of a good event.
Soon began the inevitable move began towards house parties, with different representatives shouting out addresses like news hailers. It seems my worry about the bar being too small was out of place, as not a sober reveller could be found amongst the crowd. I found myself smiling at the sight. Even if I hadn’t learned a whole lot about fashion I had learned a great deal about DONT WALK’s character. With this mind, I look forward to their next event.