“There was music from my neighbour’s house through the summer nights. In his blue gardens men and girls came and went like moths among the whisperings and the champagne and the stars.”
– F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby
A staple on the St Andrew social calendar, Opening Ball serves as the premiere university ball experience for first years. On the evening of October 3rd, experience it they did. Dolled up, dressed to kill, and bowties perfectly tied, the young revelers poured into St Salvator’s Quad. Upon arrival, guests were greeted with lights, ball gowns and bagpipers — eliciting numerous comparisons to Hogwarts.
Creating an atmosphere of excitement from the onset, The Kate Kennedy Club provided excellent décor and lighting –not to mention complimentary sparkling rosé upon entrance.
At the steps to Lower College Lawn, partygoers were treated to a view of glowing tables and covered walkways –and the Blackhorn food truck. The sound of live jazz thrummed from a small marquee to the left, while deeper vibrations of electronic music could be heard from the larger marquee ahead.
Since most guests arrived between 8 and 9.30, one could conclude that attendees were predominantly first-years and foreign exchange students. As a collective, they failed to follow the time-honoured St Andrean tradition of rocking up a minimum of three hours late. Though they were initially unsure of themselves (hanging back from the band’s tent and milling around by the bars in the marquee), the punctual newbies were soon treated to the sight of Ball Convenor Fernando Maluf charging onto the smaller dance floor, breaking the ice before the tent was packed to capacity.
Having two dance floors to move between with a different style of music at each, was greatly appreciated, as were the numerous bars around both tents. The designated smoking area ensured that no one had their smoking jacket ruined with second-hand fumes, and the cloakroom was expertly run by the volunteers from Childreach International.
Besides the cloakroom proceeds for Childreach, the profits from ticket sales will also be donated to the KK’s selected charities, which focus on supporting young people. Home-Start, Unite Against Cancer, Families First and Children First are the 2015 charities.
As I headed up the Lower College Lawn steps home, I reflected on a night that provided just the classy debauchery I’ve come to expect from student soirées. Opening Ball, in 2015 at least, proved itself as more than just an event for freshers. It was a great night in St. Andrews.