The 2023 Mermaids Christmas Ball was an all-round hit and successfully created some holiday cheer! I personally left the venue feeling extraordinarily jolly after a night of fantastic music and beautiful decorations and after experiencing my first Christmas Ball I would definitely look to go again.
This year’s theme was aurora borealis, which was clear once you stepped into Kinkell Byre, where the ceilings were covered in lights and green/blue hues everywhere. The security and organization of the event were fantastic once you got to the venue, and the check worked quickly and efficiently, which can’t be said about a majority of other St Andrews balls. The organization of transportation to the venue took some time as mermaids chose to wrap the line into the Union and pre-event to get into the buses. While the wait was long, it was warm and we got to listen to live music while we were waiting. The live music was cheery and fun, making the wait significantly more bearable – I especially loved Conall McKeown’s performance!
Once we got to Kinkell Byre, there was free champagne for the first 800 guests and free Janettas and Fisher & Donaldson for the first 900 guests. These stands did a fantastic job of keeping people organized and most guests got to enjoy free food as the dance floor started to fill up. The main hall had a DJ while a side room hosted live music, although it seemed few people realized the other hall existed, leaving the main floor quite packed and the live music room emptier. This was completely fine by me as it allowed me some space to breathe and enjoy music from bands like Raincheck, the Accidentals, and Jazzworks. While all of the bands were fantastic, I particularly enjoyed the Jazz since it felt quite Christmassy and festive. In the main room, the DJ switched from Kiki, who plays more pop and mainstream dance music to James Buckle, who played more house/techno music. They had a projection of the Northern Lights behind them that, when functioning correctly, was beautiful and created a lovely ambience for dancing.
The specialty cocktails were a lovely touch to the event, and most of the people around me were making the difficult decision of choosing between a Christmas cocktail or a drink that would get them drunk faster. I tried the Jack Frosty drink with coconut and blue curacao syrup with lemonade and I loved it, and it seemed people had a love-hate relationship with the hot chocolate cocktail with chilli vodka in it. The transportation system created a bit of a mad rush to the bar since most of the guests arrived at the same time and people had sobered up a bit by then. However, I stand by the fact that it was still one of the most organized balls I have ever been to – the security was meticulous and took their jobs seriously. There were food trucks serving pizza and burgers for anyone still hungry after the free snacks, and getting out of the venue and retrieving coats was super easy with no crowd-crushing to be seen. I left feeling full and happy after a night of dancing. There were even people singing Christmas songs on the bus home, which I think is an indicator of a successful Christmas Ball, leaving people feeling festive and jovial. The Mermaids Christmas Ball is absolutely still a must-attend event in my opinion, as the organization put thought into every part of the night – the hard work of the committee absolutely paid off.
With the bonus of free drinks and food, as well as the variety of entertainment in multiple rooms in the venue, it felt like I could see where the price of the ticket had gone. Compared to other Balls, it felt much more reasonable that I got some extra amenities including the pre-event all included in the price. If you’re looking for a Ball for next year to dress up and dance the night away in I recommend the Mermaids Christmas Ball. It made that Christmas cheer that feels so far away in November that little bit closer – after all ‘tis the season!