The fifteenth annual Welly Ball this year took place at the Falside Mill, just outside of St Andrews. The event claims to be the biggest black-tie event in Scotland, with over 2,000 attendees, from Universities all over the UK. The event supports the Charlie Waller Trust, a UK based mental health charity, raising up to 30,000 pounds last year.
However, in the days after, reports of disorganisation arose online. One user anonymously posted “The transport arranged for Welly Ball last night was the worst I’ve ever experienced”. The committee arranged for buses to and from the event, pleading that students not take taxis. Reportedly, this became an issue towards the end of night, where students waited up to an hour, pushed back and forth from the road, with little to no crowd control or organisation.
Bus traffic towards the end of events is common practice for events held in venues outside of St Andrews, however, typically taxis are available and encouraged for the safety of students.
Committee director Maddie Lea, commented on the reports, “We were disappointed that not all guests had a comfortable bus journey, especially as we booked more buses than in recent years to try and mitigate the ever-present bus problems at events”.
In addition to these reports, one user claimed that financial compensation was withheld from waitstaff. This claim has not been substantiated, and Lea declined to comment on any reports of issues with catering, which was done through the Falside Mil.
Reports of problems during Welly Ball also included the security, who managed the event and the bus traffic towards the end. According to an anonymous committee member, the event hired Amberstone Security for the event. The company has had increasingly negative reviews on Google in the past year, from event coordinators and staff former employees. The Saint reached out for comment but did not hear back.
The Saint credited Welly Ball’s legacy as St Andrews most iconic event. After this year’s controversy, Lea says, “Committee is collaborating with our bus and security partners to ensure an issue like this won’t happen again”
Image: Welly Ball