May Ball: Reviewed

Jack Angus Nevin Reviews May Ball 2019

That final bell which tolls signalling the end of the semester, and thus the end of another academic year – May Ball. The Kate Kennedy Club’s signature farewell event took place this past Sunday, filling Kinkell Byre with hundreds of students one final time.

Just as it has in other years, May Ball continued to hold its title as the largest ball – filling the venue to the brim. Kinkell Byre is a venue which can often feel claustrophobic, and much like a maze if you’re drunk, however the presence of fairground rides outside the venue kept guests pretty spread out and prevented any feelings of claustrophobia. These same rides proved to be the highlight of the night for many – there’s nothing quite like driving around some bumper cars while drunk, dressed in black tie at midnight. Even the lines for these rides remained pretty short throughout the night, thankfully avoiding a possible source of boredom and ire.

A regular visitor of Kinkell myself, I’ve never seen the outdoor space so densely packed with food vendors – namely Wild Fire Pizza, Unique Food and Leisure and Hector and Harriet. Unfortunately none took card, but this was no fault of their own and a product of the notorious lack of service at Kinkell. VIP guests had access to an even wider variety of treats. Not only were churros plentifully stocked on tables, but they were also circulated throughout the VIP area by staff moving about the tent. This was in addition to a variety of flavoured popcorn which was available near the back of the tent.

The VIP marquee was partially clear, which was a very nice element, allowing guests to get down to BPM and other DJs under the stars. A lack of seating and bins throughout the connected rear tents did make for a sparse and messy back area.

May Ball has a reputation for their A-List headliners, ranging in recent years from Felix Jaehn to Duke Dumont – this year hosting none other than Lost Frequencies. Playing for a little over an hour, Lost Frequencies was a major hit with all guests – spinning his most well known hits “Are You With Me” and “Reality” in addition to some lesser known tracks and classic dance music.

I remember how I felt at my first May Ball, as a first year I was simultaneously emboldened by my having finished my first year of university and intimidated by the grandeur and lavishness of what some describe as St. Andrews greatest red carpet event. Fashion was on show wherever you looked throughout Kinkell, with a variation of long and short dresses, white and black tie, kilts and trou abounding. With most of us having summers that don’t involve near weekly black tie escapades, May Ball is the final venue for formal expression.

I would like to give specific props to the KK for the bus organisation for the event. So often are events criticised for the mismanagement of buses, be there a lack of them or misinformation regarding the timing of them, however this year’s May Ball had regular and uniform bus runs – something which should be commended. May Ball is exactly what you think it is – a farewell black tie event with a popular headliner and fairground rides. It provides this every year and is known for it, it doesn’t try to be something which it isn’t and attempt to or pretend to offer more than it is. Our unique town is better for events like this, where all can come together one final time to celebrate being part of the unique bubble which is St. Andrews.

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