Cate Casalme reviews the launch event for the Ambassador’s Ball, the first International Relations ball in St Andrews.

The School of International Relations and Foreign Affairs, infamous in St Andrews as the most impacted department — especially by American International students — launched its annual Ambassador’s Ball this past Thursday at The Adamson. The event, advertised as a “night of glamour, adventure, £5 cocktails and assorted musical guests as we traverse the globe in search of this year’s theme”, delivered exactly that. Upon entering, I was warmly welcomed by committee members, who, with a quick scan of my Fixr ticket, let me into the venue where I was suddenly surrounded by IR students in cocktail attire sipping on the appropriate cocktail.

The decorations were subtle, a plethora of flags from different countries encasing the bar and hot air balloons suspending from chandeliers, quietly hinting at what would be revealed to be the ball’s theme: Around the World in 80 Days. While the cocktails were only £5 — a deal for the Adamson — and attendees were promptly served, many students still found it to be a bit too pricey and some could even be seen sneaking out to the Rule for shots.   

What probably set the launch apart from any other drinking events was the touch of live acts. Attendees were treated to a wonderful selection of the Other Guys, Ukelear Fusion & Whaleshark Daddy. The Other Guys were energetic and vivacious throughout their set, and even surprised guests with a pleasant, if not fairly odd, rendition of Break Your Heart by Taio Cruz. Ukelear Fusion, a nice follow-up to the Other Guys, delivered with its soft renditions of popular classics. And lastly, Whaleshark Daddy was perfectly suited to the mood of the event with its quintessential jazz tunes.   

However, like all other events, the Ambassador Ball Launch was not without its criticisms. Speaking with many attendees, photo-taking and volume of the microphone bothered many. The amount of flash, preceded by a red light on the subject’s face, made many feel that it was “intrusive” and “ruined the flow”.  However, to the photographer’s credit, the photos turned out quite beautifully. In regards to the other criticism, attendees noted that they had wished for a louder microphone, as it was quite hard to hear some parts of the musical acts and the committee’s announcements.  

All in all the event was enjoyable with a nice touch of live acts and cheaper cocktails. But nonetheless, it was essentially, just another drinking night for many St Andrews students.