With the temperature dropping and the lights of Bell Street fully lit, it is fair to say that the winter season has arrived. With that, as every St Andrews student will know, comes a fully packed calendar of events like Szentek, Christmas Ball, and, possibly the most iconic of all, Welly Ball. Even though I had never experienced Welly Ball before this year, something about the event just screams ‘St Andrews’. I can’t imagine anything more encompassing of the culture here than a black-tie dinner and iconic after-party at Kinkell Byre, this time, with the added treat of ditching high heels for a pair of wellies! It is no surprise that tickets to the event sell out in under a minute with everyone scouring Facebook to find resales before the transfer deadline. Even before boarding the bus out to Kinkel Byre, all the guests coming down South Street created a perfect people-watching opportunity to see the various fashions for the year.
Upon arriving at Kinkell Byre, the crowd of after-party goers was greeted by many people outside chatting and getting chips, still dancing to the sound of the music inside. Beyond the atmosphere created by the guests, the venue itself was perfectly done-up for the event. There were large lanterns hanging down and string lights all above the bars. With two bars in the main space, there was absolutely no wait time to get a drink and more than enough bartenders to accommodate the growing number of people. Best of all, the space was not overcrowded, leaving more than enough room to take some photos and move around easily. As you moved across the dancefloor and into the adjoining marquee, guests found another bar, dancefloor, and even crepes hidden in the back! It was so nice having this feeling of variety and space to take a break from dancing to grab a drink and chat with friends.
Yet, I find it hard to believe that not everyone was on the dancefloor because the music was too good to resist. The only way I can describe it is that through the night there was something for everyone. When after-party guests first arrived, the main dancefloor was playing mostly electronic music. I find that this type of music can be a bit hard to dance to, but considering that most people were getting drinks at this time, it was fine. As groups started to make their way to the dancefloor, the playlist shifted to 2000s era songs ranging from ‘Party in the USA’ to ‘Breaking Free’ from High School Musical. These may sound like some odd choices, but I have never seen a crowd get more into the music than I did that night. Everyone was singing along at the top of their lungs, so much so that I felt like I was at Karaoke with friends rather than dancing at a ball. As the night progressed, the DJ started playing remixes to popular songs which, in my opinion, was the perfect way to end the night. Best of all, if any of the music was not to your fancy, the other dancefloors would normally be playing something completely different.
When I first thought of attending Welly Ball, I was unsure if it would live up to expectations. The minute you tell people you are going, they either share their own stories recounting the event or share how much fun their friends have had. I had only ever heard amazing things about Welly Ball and was so glad that it somehow exceeded all of the expectations! It was clear that so much time went into planning the event in order to make it fun and a great night for everyone attending. For those who have yet to go to Welly Ball, it is not to be missed!