Review: This year’s Opening Ball

New location, still lit


This year's Opening Ball promised a new location, taking Don't Walk's spot at the Madras Rugby Pitches. Somehow, the Kate Kennedy Club made this look stylish and the night was filled with ambient lighting, champagne and the chance to salsa.

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Plus, and this is the obvious high point of the night, you get to see the Kate Kennedy lads (and girls) in their tweed trousers. Talk about dressing to impress.

Opening Ball is, as always, one of the highlights of first term. Unlike May Ball there's always a little bit of uncertainty: the event is mostly freshers looking to get a taste of what St Andrews can offer. It was fun to see everything dressed-up and suited but also to see people testing the limits on what black-tie constitutes. Those wearing playsuits were super bold and we loved it.

First shout-out of the night goes to the fantastic Cricket club who were doing coat check. They had card-readers which made it much easier to check stuff in and it was amazing to have an event that was so easy access.

The set-up inside the biggest tent was a little samey-samey and it was a shame that there wasn't more space to dance. However, it was toasty warm which, at least, meant nobody froze in the Scottish Autumn weather.

The most important moment of the night is, obviously, drunk fuel. The food vendors there were pretty good. Nothing says 11pm food-break quite like a Blackhorn burger. The heat lamps outside were also a huge draw. It was a quasi-smoking area/dining hall and it was a great chance to congregate away from the noise and grab a breather. Not sure how they passed the health and safety tests, but they were innovative and a great shout now that the weather is on the turn.

The highlight of it all was definitely the outside dance tent which, for some unknown and fantastic reason, played Latin dance music. Yes, you've got that right. This year's opening ball had a salsa tent. This saw St Andrews' finest breaking out their best ballroom moves; complete with salsa, swing and waltzing. As weird as it sounds, it was great to see people letting go in a town usually resigned to jumping up and down to the same shit electro-tracks.

A final shout out must go to the Kate Kennedy Club for one again breaking the mould and giving us something that, for once, actually made a change from the usual St Andrews ball scene.