It is well known in the minds of many students what happened on that fateful night last year, one that left gown-clad guests and fashion fanatics left, quite literally, out in the cold. Yet, those who do remember (I struggle) what happened when FS was cancelled in 2017 will put forth a tapestry of debauchery enough to make any first year wish they’d gone without the Gap Year. I can still see the windows of Greyfriars’ flats wide open, arms eagerly accepting guests as crowds thronged between pres, parties, and afters with the sole aim of not letting a gust of wind ruin their night.
Yet, this time, this was no simple case of sporadic high winds. This was the Beast from the East. The cold front from the East that rendered us cut off from civilisation for days, leaving Tesco’s out of bread, the Library closed, and not a tub of hummus left in town. Once again it seemed the student population would be facing insurmountable odds, as Glitterball’s marquee was flattened and Octoberfest’s all important Bavarian import remained stranded to the South. Temperatures had dropped, snow and ice still lay all over town, and there seemed to be nowhere forth-coming to soothe the wallets of those who would not be going to one of last weekend’s big events.
And yet, dirndls remained bought, booze remained in ample supply, and the pent up energy of so many students so soon after deadlines seemed to thaw away at the ice that kept them from day of drinking and amnesia. Soon reports of a replacement event at The Vic were confirmed, though whether it was needed was doubted, as a mixture of replacement house parties once again materialised. The beast may have struck in Fife, but St Andrews wasn’t ready for hot chocolate and Bridget Jones just yet. In fact, as I ventured outside, it seemed Octoberfest had merely changed location, with several of the towns pubs more reminiscent of Munich rather than Scotland. Brightly coloured day drinkers joined the fray, and together they managed to nearly wipe clean my entire memory of the day’s proceedings.
As I often say the town we live in is our gift and our burden. And what happened last weekend is testament to that. Sure we were shut down by a few inches of snow, leaving Americans and Scandinavians alike clueless as to how we still operate as a nation. Driving out of town on Sunday, it’s incredible how a great deal more snow has produced far fewer problems in areas such as Dundee, which can hardly be called far afield enough to warrant such an improvement. However, despite this, it is also true that event culture here is student driven, meaning even if the ticket in our hand no longer means something, or if Kinkell is left unserviceable, one need only grab a phone and, with a little bit of Dutch Courage, make something completely spontaneously.