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Don Your Denim Review: The Charity Polo Tournament’s First Go at a Vic Night

The night of 1 November is historically a time for relaxation after a gruelling ‘Halloweekend’ filled with drinking and a lack of sleep. St Andrews students, however, did not take the Wednesday off and flooded into the Vic for Don Your Denim after Sinners was cancelled. Frederick Strange, the Executive Assistant for the St Andrews Charity Polo Tournament, recounted that the committee decided on 1 November for the event because it signifies the beginning of remembrance month, which aligns with their charity, Help for Heroes. The Charity Polo Tournament began over a decade ago and they have always been partners with Help for Heroes; a British charity that supports members of the Armed Forces after their service. Over the years they have raised £100,000 from ticket sales and sponsors. Don Your Denim was the first promotional event the Charity Polo Tournament has put on other than their notorious Barn Bash and of course, the annual tournament, and the night did not disappoint.

As I waited in line for a few minutes with what seemed like a never-ending line of men in suits, snow sports in costumes, and others in denim, upon entry, we received a wristband and a card. The card acted as a type of ‘save the date’ as it gave the date for the Barn Bash on 27 January, even though tickets have yet to drop. As I climbed those notorious Vic stairs and entered the main room, it did not feel normal. The decor was a mix of denim plastered to the walls and hanging on the chandeliers, with touches of Christmas lights, trees, and ornaments left over from the Vic’s holiday decor. What made this even different from a typical Vic night was the music.

Instead of a DJ, ‘Cal and Ally’ played live music on stage from 10:30 to 12:30. Cal and Ally play at Barn Bash every year, and listening to them made me want to buy a ticket for 27 January immediately. Groups of friends and sports teams were huddled in circles singing along to music, which ranged from Amy Winehouse to the Backstreet Boys. There was a DJ in the Social Club, but the crowd was enthralled by ‘Cal and Ally’ the entire two hours. However, if you prefer a DJ, there was a seamless transition from the band into the DJ set, starting with Kanye West followed by more hip-hop music to close out the night until 3 AM.

Although Wednesdays are typically reserved for Sinners, this week, the Union cancelled the event. Strange said that Sinners being cancelled was a blessing in disguise because they sold more tickets at the door than expected even after all the tickets sold out online. Still, they managed the numbers well and the space did not feel too crowded, leaving more space on the dancefloor and students being able to get a drink without encountering multiple elbows. As Polo branches out to more promotional events for the year there is one more to look forward to before Barn Bash. On Remembrance Sunday, 12 November, 18 students and non-students will do a beach ride on West Sands. The event incorporates the local community and the profits will go directly to Poppy Scotland; a Scottish Charity for veterans of the Armed Forces. If Don Your Denim is any indication for the rest of Polo’s events, I am excited and more than willing to continue to pay affordable prices in the name of Help for Heroes.

Photo: Lizzie Rosenman

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