I promised you a post all about DONT WALK, so here it is ☺️.
I was hugely excited to come back and experience DONT WALK 5 years on (yes it’s been at least 5 years 🙈). The thing about St Andrews is, there are no clubs. So almost every weekend there is an ‘event’, a glorified disco – dress code black tie – for some spurious cause, usually held in Kinkell Byre – a renovated barn on a hill over looking the sea – and, if we’re honest, it’s just an excuse for students to get dressed up, get a bit drunk, dance and be very very silly.
DONT WALK is one of these such events. It’s not a fashion show as you know it, more a party / show / music event with a strong philosophy (it was started up in the wake of 9/11, read more here) – imagine a really good party that has been organised just for you and your friends. Also Kate Middleton once wore a see-through dress in the show, so it’s sort of famous too.
This year I went back to St Andrews and did DONT WALK properly, I went with my younger sister who is in fourth year and her friends, and it went something like this:
5pm Start getting ready. The dress I had bought with me was not appropriate, cue raid younger sisters edgier and stylish wardrobe, decide on glittery crop top (you don’t get to be 22 every day).
5.30pm Decide that wearing trainers is an excellent idea. We are after all in Scotland, the flooring will probably be dodgy and there may be mud.
5.45pm Mix an espresso martini and pour it into jar to take to someones house for pre-drinks (I am unsure what went into the martini, but it tasted good).
5.50pm Eat a banana and toast because we totally forgot to eat supper.
6pm Make the 10 minute walk to Queens Gardens for pre-gaming (pre-drinking) in someone else’s house.
6 – 7pm Drink espresso martini from wine glasses in tiny kitchen full of youthful students in all sorts of wild and wonderful get ups – if you’re a girl crop tops, tiny dresses, see-through dress, jumpsuits, basically anything you like is in, as long as look like you haven’t made too much effort. For boys you’re either edgey and put on an edgey outfit, or your wearing chinos, a shirt, jumper and loafers.
7.15pm Walk to South Street and queue for the bus with many other semi-inebriated students.
7.30pm Get bag checked for illegal substances? and then sit on the bus while students drink unusual looking concoctions out of Evian bottles they have smuggled on board.
8pm Arrive at Cambo Estate. You might have thought the 50 strong DONT WALK committee would have considered the logistics of getting many buses and cars both up and back down a narrow drive way. But no. Our bus driver could only get so far, he was stuck behind a long line of other buses, so he deposited us into the mud (I knew it) and off we walked up the drive, girls in heels staggering and swaying and getting stuck. We walked past a number of stretch limos which was intriguing (SUPER SUPER VIP guests) and I am pleased to say they had also got stuck and been deposited half way up the drive into the mud.
8.30pm Arrive at marquee, use portaloo (not the fancy type), the blue and green by the side of the road type, with no lights.
8.40pm Recover from portaloo usage (this is why I have only ever been to one festival, the grubbiness of portaloos is just so stressful).
8.45pm Enter tent to find table. Each table comes with a bottle of champagne, however these have all been mine swept (stolen) from the tables within the first 10 minutes of students arriving. Luckily a kindly drunken young man did offer us some champagne from ‘his’ bottle.
9pm Find a good spot to watch show by the catwalk, buy drinks (drinks were extraordinarily cheap – cocktail for £6 and it’s not even happy hour).
9.30pm Don’t Walk commences, have a great time.
Don’t Walk is all about the spectacle, they really do put on a very good show, and know how to throw a very good party indeed.
There are no seats, so you stand close to the catwalk and the music is very good (you can read about it here), and everyone dances. The models walk up and down wearing clothes by all sorts of designers. I actually think the real fashion show is on the dance floor – the students are SO well dressed, and the models are basically semi-naked for most of the show – weirdly there is nothing about the designers on their website. The watching students get merrier and merrier (drunken and more drunken), and the models also look like they are having a great time, lots of dancing and champagne drinking on the catwalk.
I had been nervous about going back to this sort of event, knowing the kind of atmosphere and was rather worried I might lose my sister, be engulfed by youth, and never be seen again. But this is St Andrews, so everything is small and you can’t really lose anyone for that long and all her friends very kindly looked after me when I did get momentarily lost. So we danced, watched the show and had a nice time and then we got the bus back to St Andrews.
It was a great night, thank you DONT WALK, and if you haven’t ever been to a St Andrews University event, I really do recommend it.