This year’s Welly Ball was sick

What could be better than wearing wellies with a ballgown?

ball event review

It’s that time of year again. There are deadlines, the occasional breakdown and, of course, the Welly Ball. This particular ball has established itself as an essential event on the social calendar, giving students the opportunity to combine two essential elements of St Andrews life: black tie and weather-appropriate footwear. But did 2017’s instalment live up to the ball’s enviable reputation?

Guests arriving at the After Party in Kinkell Byre were welcomed by leafy decorations, giving the tried-and-tested venue an air of mystery. The food was a welcome surprise, with an entire table laden with millionaire’s shortbread and various other treats.

That was, however for about twenty minutes before the majority had been nabbed by opportunistic early-goers. The drinks weren’t bad either with a well-staffed bar and free bottles of water which became increasingly necessary as guests piled into the venue and onto the dancefloor.

Thankfully, this food differed somewhat to the food served at the dinner, which students splashed out on to enjoy a more formal precursor to the After Party. That is because, to the best of my knowledge, no one dislikes shortbread.

Sadly the ball was hit with reports of an non-descript illness, which may have dampened spirits more than the hangover from drinking five pablos! Perhaps it might have influenced some of the guests in some very strange ways because but the ball seemed to have an unusual amount of PDA, even by St Andrews’ standards.

While this could be slightly uncomfortable for the sad singletons among us, you couldn’t begrudge people for having a good time. And besides, learning that a combination of wellies and sickness could be the secret to pulling was interesting life-lesson indeed.

Furthermore, the cracking music made it easy to forget the ubiquitous face-eating couples around you. It started with edgy remixes before progressing onto some guaranteed crowd-pleasers (there really is no party like an S Club party). Bangers like these ensured the dance floor was packed right up until the very last song, leaving many disappointed that the event had to end at all.

In anything, there were almost too many people having fun. The endless crowds made for long queues outside the bathrooms and the taps temporarily ran out of water. While there was (just) enough room to manoeuvre around the venue, there was a notable lack of seating which meant that several people could be seen crouching in corners while they ate. However, if a ball is going to have a problem, surely having too many people coming isn’t the worst one to have.

Despite the crowds, the event seemed very well managed.

The security did an admirable job of asking some of the more spirited ball-goers not to clamber up the pillars, something that happened so often one was left wondering why people hadn’t worked out that balancing drunkenly above a writhing mass of humanity wasn’t the best of ideas. Even the inevitable crush of people at the end of the night was well handled, with regular busses ensuring that no one was left suffocating for too long.

Overall, it is fair to say that 2017’s Welly Ball (or the After Party at least) was a resounding success. Good drinks, good music and good vibes made for one hell of a night and a welcome break in a stressful time of year, all while raising valuable funds for the Charlie Waller Memorial Trust. Indeed, if there is no spate of illness in the future, then it will surely maintain its hard-earned reputation as one of the best nights out of the year.