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At What Cost: How Much It Cost Students to Attend the Top Events of the Martinmas Semester

Updated: Nov 29, 2023

As we reach the end of the Martinmas semester and Christmas lights begin to appear in every window, it’s common to feel a bit of nostalgia for nights out of yore. As I think back on the best events of the semester, I began to wonder: how much does it cost to be a St Andrews student? Obviously, there’s no exact answer, yet, based on the most popular events of the year, and a basic assumption of the typical student’s going-out habits, I’ve pulled together my best guess.

To start off the year, it’s impossible not to mention Starfields. FS’ annual musical festival starts the year off with a bang and will set you back £45. Featuring award-winning DJs, wild outfits, and mile-long queues for a drink it’s almost worth the price.

Following Starfields is the Kate Kennedy Club’s Opening Ball. With afterparty tickets starting at £40, it’s a fun time to dress up and dance, finishing off the night with a Screaming Peacock burger and a 40-minute bus ride back to town.

Next up is the famous Welly Ball, bringing in students from across the UK. Welly Ball sells their dinner party tickets for £85, and afterparty tickets for £45. Unlike many others, however, Welly offers a free ticket in exchange for waiting tables.

To finish off the semester, Christmas Ball cannot be forgotten. One of the uni’s most famous and well-publicised balls, it’s not one you’ll want to miss. With tickets costing £45, it’s easy to think of it as an early gift, and even easier to justify as it’s the last event of the year.

St Andrews’ nightlife isn’t all ball gowns and buses, however. A more typical night out will consist of a night at the Vic or the Rule, or, better yet, a pint at one of St Andrews’ many pubs.

Throwbacks has proved themselves to be one of the most reliable hosts, with their weekly event taking place every Thursday. Full of fun, retro-pop music, their tickets will set you back £10.

Down to Funk (DTF), is another St Andrews staple. Albeit less frequent than Throwbacks, DTF hosts larger events as well, such as their famous Moving Castle rave. With a funky atmosphere, and house music blaring, a night out at DTF sits on the pricier side at £12.

Haus, yet another music collective, provides a similar atmosphere to DTF. This year, they found their greatest success in Haus of Sinners, a Halloween event that was hosted in collaboration with other music collectives across town. While the night was a hit, it wasn’t cheap with tickets costing attendees £12.50.

For the first time ever, the Charity Polo Tournament hosted a Vic night to roaring approval. Aptly titled Don Your Denim and featuring a live band for the earlier portions of the night, attendees were hoeing down until the early hours of the morning. The event cost £10, but with the added benefit of live music, it felt like a steal.

Out of any society, Don't Walk probably hosts one of the highest number of club nights. Starting off the year with Inception at Madras Rugby Pitches, tickets sold for £12, a high price to pay for a long walk to a small venue. Since then, they’ve had their invite-only launch, as well as another club night with the ever-random title Repress.

All in all, for students attending at the bare minimum the events above, their whopping total spent on tickets, just for this semester, should rest around £250. Some students may attend more events and some may attend less. However, factoring in prices for dinners at balls, early bird vs final sale tickets, and any other events attended by students, I think it’s fair to say that the average student will have spent between £200 and £350 on tickets alone in the Martinmas semester. While this number is shocking, it begs the question - why aren’t there more venues for free and affordable nights out for St Andrews students?

Photo: Sarah Knight

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