This past weekend, the DRA and Fife Park (DRAFP) student accommodation apartments held their annual ball on Lower College Lawn for both resident and nonresident students. This year, they abandoned the sub aquatic statues and features of last February’s Atlantis theme and transformed the grand white marquis into an old-school styled arcade, complete with several retro game machines. Just like last year’s event, the ball was surrounded by nothing but excitement and hype; in the days leading to the event, few talked about anything except the upcoming ball. Having attended last year, I knew what to expect and my standards were set quite high from the year prior.
This year, the DRAFP Ball committee booked several music acts: Will Granowski, TIGRE, WONT, CLiQ, and Secondcity. Honestly, I could hardly tell the difference between the rotating DJs as they all played the typical remix or techno-style music. This was not necessarily a problem as the dance floor was always packed with several hundred dolled-up students boogying to their heart’s content. Yet, I would have still preferred to have had a few ‘classic’ party songs peppered amongst the nonstop beats.
If the dancing did not suit you, or your feet were just too tired from the constant jumping in heels, you could head over to the arcade section which featured rows of old fashioned arcade games from Pac-Man to pinball. These gaming machines were a nice detail as it not only adhered to the theme otherwise lost to other standard decorations but were a source of casual entertainment for the over one thousand attendees.
The absolute highlight of my friends’ and my night, however, was not the arcade games, cash bar or music but rather the myriad of free food options. From burgers, to wraps, to brownies and ice cream, the DRAFP committee satisfied the mob of ticket holders with the cornucopia of free (yes, I said FREE) food! It is not unusual for St Andrews’ events to have food, or nonetheless offer free ice cream, but the opportunity to have free entrees was truly enlightening; from now on, 22 February will be remembered as ‘the day a St Andrews’ ball had free food.’
I may have had too high of expectations from last year’s event that this year’s ball did not seem as grandiose, rather a little disjointed at times. Yet, despite the slight discomfort of random people on stilts, the standard long bathroom lines and a not-so versatile music selection, the DRAFP Ball was another great night logged in the books. Generally, I was quite impressed with the event as a whole, especially with the arcade section, various entertainers who mingled with the crowd and free food options. The DRAFP Ball organisers, once again, produced an event that gives the accommodation a positive reputation, almost as if they were trying to offset the long trek that the residents have to take into town each day. I would highly recommend this ball to anyone, especially any hesitant, future attendees, not only because it is a good excuse to flail your limbs about and claim it as ‘dancing’, but also because it continues to offer something unique to the student community each year.