Fellow St Andreans, I am thrilled that I will retell and report to you on some of the best nights of your early twenties (hopefully). It is not an easy task, but I will do my best to spiritedly work my way through St Andrews’ extensive events calendar with you over the coming year.
The first dilemma in reviewing an event is to understand what constitutes a good evening. Is it that you finally dared to make a move with that cute girl from psych class because she was waiting in the cloakroom for ages trying to get her coat? Cloakroom queuing might not have been so great for everyone else, but it served you well!
Reviewing events is a tough job, trying to figure out what everyone else is feeling that night.
The girl who had loads of shots and danced her way merrily through the night had a completely different experience to the guy who did not so much enjoy the crowd at the bar spilling their vodka and cokes all over his favourite white shirt. While it is impossible to capture all of these little instances that may frequent throughout an evening, a review should capture at least some of them along the way with the general feeling of the crowd too. But to me, it is the little stories that are the most interesting and that tie everything together, as if you were there grabbing freebies with me last night at the cotton candy stand. Anyway, the last thing I want is to tell you that it was a great night and that if you do not agree with me, then you must be missing out on something. I simply aim to make it more personal, because I will be partying with you too at the next event and hope that you read my reviews like you read your friend’s morning after texts checking that you made if through the chaos that ensued the night before.
The other thing about reviewing events in St Andrews is that the format seems to have been set for every publication. This is usually how it goes:
Do not get me wrong, I love picture essays. I think they are cool and helpful, sweet and short. I know the screenshot above is not a picture essay, but it perfectly captures the elements of event reviews. Some revelation that everyone had a good time and a picture to prove it. I know that this is a good place to start, but it just screams for something more. Most publications will try to post a ‘pre-event’ promotion-type article, be it an interview with one of the committee members, or just a general, horoscope-style forecast, because even though they are silly, most of us still read them.
I would love to share some ideas that you might like from an events review. One might be an hourly update on my venture into the depths of Kinkell Byre or Lower College Lawn. A by-the-hour report should give you a complete walk through how the hard work of your fellow students comes to live in the form of your enjoyment. Another might be a spontaneous interview on the night of the event through the eyes of partygoers. This interview round up hopefully will reflect the spectrum of euphoria of the event as experienced from a fresher meeting his closest-friends-to-be for the first time over to a fourth year embracing the company of his best friends that he will soon miss. Of course, if you have any suggestions regarding the format or how we can better write reviews that you would want to read, let a girl know.
To show some credibility of why I feel like I can deliver all this to you, I have been a partygoer myself in St Andrews for 3 years, I have taken pictures and tried my hand at a little event organization too. I will let you into a little, and simple secret of mine on deciding on whether or not to go to an event in St Andrews. It is simply a matter of figuring out how many, and which, of your friends are attending. You will build the excitement amongst yourselves; at least enough to convince one another it is worth the queuing up outside/through the night/via a dodgy online portal to buy a ticket. Another case would be that if you are lucky, one of the committee members is your friend who will kindly direct you to the easiest way of getting a ticket. But the opposite might happen, when they practically drag you to come because it is their event. The truth is, both cases will interchangeably happen more often than you think; it is a small town after all. Do not think about it too much, just enjoy the dressing up, drinking and dancing. The dancing is the most important part, second from enjoying yourself in festivity. One, because almost every cool gentlemen has approved (Nietzsche, Baudelaire, Beckett). Second, because it is irresistibly fun. Try not dancing to Soulja Boy – Crack that or Nelly – Hot in Herre. Or is it Kanye and Taylor Swift in our time? Anyway, cha cha your way to the night, with your friends or someone special…
I will be there the day after at your hangover brunch with the lads/lassies, trying to help you out to fill in the missing gaps between your cigarette breaks and bathroom queue. Hopefully enough, so no one has to bring ‘I was so drunk’ chat to the library.