Emily Allen reviews Xavier Ball, held Friday 23 October at the Crail Airfield. 

The Xavier Ball was a dazzling and vibrant event that brightened up the evenings of all those who went. Hosted to raise awareness and funds for the Xavier Project, a non-profit organization started by a St. Andrews alumni that supports refugees and aids them in surviving conflict in their home countries, it also provided the students of St. Andrews with the opportunity to have a fantastic time.

Fleets of coaches ferried the colourfully clad and excited students towards the venue just down the road from St. Andrews in Crail where, en route, we were laden with enough glow sticks to guide an airplane. A large and impressive bonfire was crackling merrily to welcome us, providing not only many photo opportunities, but a spectacular beacon that was no doubt visible for miles around. It was the first indicator of the theme of the night: ‘Be Bright!’


The evening was a psychedelic explosion of every colour of the rainbow and then some off the scale entirely. Greeted by the enthusiastic and friendly committee members, the first attraction that caught our eye was a large tent just by the entrance, with enticing sounds and lights coming from within. Stepping inside, the initial brightness felt vaguely like entering into an alternate reality; strobe lights threw different colours onto the canvas, and almost every inch of wall space was decked in banners and drapes.

We were so impressed by the overwhelmingly friendly and invigorating nature of this tent with its refreshments and excellent DJ, it was a while before my friends and I realised that this wasn’t even the main event. That delight, we found, was in the main building. Entering the hall, an overpowering wall of sound and dry ice hit us immediately, as well as throngs of dancing and animated students; we were just able to pick out their vibrantly colourful outfits in the low lighting as well as a bar which we promptly headed for, bedecked with two free drinks tokens (having already tucked in to our complimentary chips).


On stage, Little Boots were a massive success, and between them and the DJ, their was something for everyone and kept everyone ecstatic and dancing late into the night, the lights and revellers’ spirits getting only brighter as the night got darker. Many hours, jaegerbombs and questionable items of glowstick clothing later, we tumbled back outside to where the coaches were waiting to return us to St. Andrews.

It was one of the best evenings I have had in a long time; the informal and colourful dress code provided a pleasing contrast with the usual black tie balls. As cordial and entertaining as the Opening Ball was, Xavier Ball was fantastic in a completely different way, and was a true opportunity to let your hair down and, if only for an evening, made the essay deadlines and mandatory studying seem a far away and distant memory. The night itself was a technicolour dream, and it was only too easy to get lost in the world of brightness, dazzling lights and vivacity that the committee so excellently provided.



Emily Allen 



Photos courtesy of Ampersand Media.