Photo Courtesy of Amanda MacEachen (DRA Ball x Lightbox)
The first two months of the Candlemas semester can be, to be blunt, kind of brutal: it’s still the usual cold Scottish weather and the sun is still setting before a reasonable time. The promise of a winter break and the festivities of Christmas and the New Year are long behind us, and
it feels as if you might go mad from boredom.
It was on what could have been another empty night that the DRAFP committee hosted their annual ball, themed around the concept of outer-space. As an avid fan of glitter, the moon,
and the stars, I was immediately excited. The ball is widely regarded as a must-attend event and the excitement builds not only by word of mouth, but by the promotion itself, as their social media pages declare that they offer the best hall ball in town. Buses shuttled residents
between DRA and St Salvator’s Quad, and non-residents like myself made their own way over, wondering what was in store.
What I found was a transformed marquee, with planets hanging from the ceiling which inevitably started swinging back and forth as the night progressed and people got progressively and inevitably more drunk. A deep blue sea of balloons, complemented by silver
stars, floated above tables. There was also an arrangement of beanbags across the floor, providing a more comfortable option to the traditional chairs, and honestly, this seems like a clever way of handling the sheer amount of people attending an event like this. A giant moon with the
ball’s name lit up on the side was another focal point, with people rushing to get a photo of their full outfit with it. Ball attendees were both sitting on it and standing in front of it, often grabbing props from nearby to enhance the shot, showing off the glamour and sequins that could be found scattered throughout the dance-floor. Another major draw was the photo booth style photography near the bar (run by Foxy Photo Booth), which was perfect for group photos, and was a brilliant addition to what was an already fantastic number of options for photos
within the ball.
The multiple food vendors placed throughout the event were also a success, from the ever-popular Jannettas, who did sadly run out of ice cream during the night (thankfully not before I was able to get some) to The Wee Churros Corner and Blackhorn Burgers, providing a range of snacks from the savoury to the sweet, which proved a success with the crowd. The bars, available on each side of the room were also a success (though that is to be expected) and the choice to have multiple areas available for drinks made the crowd was much more manageable than it has been at other high-profile events. They also had some space themed cocktails available for the night, of which I am
tempted to try and recreate at home.
The music started with JazzWorks, who are always a pleasure to see at events like this, before switching over to The Slick who played a mixture of original songs and covers of classic, easily recognisable hits. Both acts had successfully caught people’s interest, getting them hyped up before Throwbacks entered the stage and played until the end of the night. Following up on the recognisable tracks, Throwbacks mixed between a number of different genres, notably pop and hip-hop, and ensured that there truly was something for everyone in their mix. The atmosphere was electric, and as the hits showed no sign of stopping, it became apparent that the crowd had no intention of slowing down either.
All in all, while I do try to walk into events with no expectations, it has been hard to ignore the excitement building over the DRAFP ball, and harder to not be influenced by that excitement. It would be easy for these kinds of events to go wrong, and we’ve seen in the past with other
events how this can play out, but I can safely say that the DRAFP ball lives up to the claim of being out of this world. The staff on site were helpful, the set-up of the venue was cleverly thought out and made the
experience much more enjoyable by ensuring that there was something for everyone, and minimising lines for the bar. The decorations were on-theme and made for a beautiful backdrop to the night, and the photo opportunities were well considered and readily available. The atmosphere was amazing, and perhaps most importantly, the music spoke to the crowd and was the perfect final piece to an incredible night.