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The biggest event in the Glasgow University calendar, a fresher’s guide to Daft Friday

Your guide to Glasgow University’s most exclusive party and how to get tickets this year (today!)


Daft Friday. The most sought after event in the Glasgow University calendar. This year on Friday 15th December, we will see the 114th “D*** F*****” take place in Glasgow University Union. But for the unordained, what is Daft Friday and how do you get into the party of the year?

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What is D*** F*****?

Daft Friday is a 12 hour black tie ball hosted annually in the GUU. Running from 8pm Friday until 8am Saturday, the winter spectacular sees the building transformed in line with the year’s top secret theme. Past themes include The Illiad (1996), Pixar (2021) and last year’s Stranger Things. Every room in the union is used.

Recent years have seen ceilidhs, laser quest in the Dining Room a charity casino in Billiards and Becky Hill performing in the Debates Chamber. What happens at Daft Friday is both known and unknown, everyone knows about the annual formal dinner held in honour of the night’s founder, the headline acts performing, and the free breakfast rolls laid out for those who survived the night yet every year is full of strange and wonderful surprises.

The event is planned and pulled off by the D*** F***** committee. The DF building and painting crews are behind the union’s transformation. They don’t just put up some fairy lights, they also create sculptures and paint bespoke murals on boards up to 11ft tall. What’s created is mesmerising, like something from a Hollywood set. Probably because to apply for the paint crew you must include a portfolio of your work.

Traditions

Like anything decades old, DF has some weird and wonderful traditions:

Tradition one: The President is banned from the union. Plans for the night, including the theme, are top secret from everyone but especially from the President. Since the 1950s, Daft Friday has seen a “surprise” celebration of the President take place. The week leading up to Daft Friday sees much of the union shut so it can be decorated. The President is ceremoniously kicked out of the union and cannot enter for this week. Kicked out of the union, in a pre-daft celebration.

Tradition two: “DF” OR “D*** F*****” not “Daft Friday”. Publicity for the event always refers to it as D*** F***** or DF, never the full name. Why? Because GUU superstition states that if the name Daft Friday is so much said in the presence of the President, let alone details being revealed, bad luck will be incurred.

Tradition two: “DF” OR “D*** F*****” not “Daft Friday”. Publicity for the event always refers to it as D*** F***** or DF, never the full name. Why? Because GUU superstition states that if the name Daft Friday is so much said in the presence of the President, let alone details being revealed, bad luck will be incurred.

Daft Friday was first held 115 years ago, in 1908. The story goes that the Honorary Secretary of the Union, James Bridie, was complaining of boredom on the last day of term. In his autobiography, he described how he, the President and their “satellites” brought down a piano and started an impromptu concert. According to him, so many students drifted in throughout the day, that they had to carry the piano into the debate chamber. The concert went on and in the evening they were joined by performers in that year’s pantomime, carrying on till Saturday. According to Bridie “Nobody with any tincture of humanity in him attended a class that day” and Daft Friday was born.

Hosting a party at the end of the winter term became a tradition, taking time to celebrate the President. In the 1950s it evolved when women were allowed to join. It evolved again in the 1980s when the unions both announced that they would become intersex. It has evolved again and again over the years, turning from an intimate celebration of the end of term and exams to a union institution and all-night blowout. It is truly greater than its founders could have ever imagined.

According to the GUU’s website, the modern evolution of Daft Friday sees over 1,500 students in attendance. Expect music, food and drinks aplenty, fun surprises and a whole lot of photo opportunities. Advertised as 12 hours of music, dancing and exciting surprises, Daft Friday is a night to remember.

This year’s details:

Date: Friday 15th December 2023

Time: 8pm Friday 15th – 8am Saturday 16th (12 hours total)

Dress Code: Black tie

Tickets:

This year tickets will be sold entirely online, saving us from the queues around the block that used to appear. Ticket codes will be released on Thursday 16th of November, costing £50 each, with a £1.85 booking fee (Last year it was £45, so it better be good).

Buyers must be GUU members and those who get through can only buy a maximum of two tickets. Remember, everyone needs their own ticket so you and a plus one require two tickets (£100).

Tickets are non-refundable, but they are transferable. However, in line with their hard-to-get reputation, Daft Friday tickets must be collected in person, within a certain period, by the person who bought them, who has to bring a photo ID and an up-to-date GUU membership card. Tip: 23-24 GUU membership cards are orange!

Buyers will be emailed to choose a collection slot. Collection slots will be between the 20th and 24th of November. But don’t worry if you miss out, tickets that go uncollected will be refunded and re-released.

For more details check out the GUU’s official page.

Ticket launch:

The GUU will be releasing codes to get tickets on Thursday night. Despite the mixed opinions of last year’s ticket launch party, they will be using that format again. On Thursday 16th November, they will be holding a ticket code launch party. The code will be then published on social media two minutes after being released to attendees. The launch party will see the opportunity to sign up for events where you can compete solo or in teams of four to win reserved tickets and gold cards.

The location of the party room is being kept secret ’till the day, however, anyone wanting to attend must bring along a 23-24 membership card and be over the age of 18. The launch party will be followed by a club night in HIVE and Well, with free entry for those there before 8pm.

It has been recommended that hopefuls have a FIXR account with the app downloaded and ready. Those on campus, especially near the union, should have mobile data ready as last year’s demand was so popular the union’s Wi-Fi crashed.

Hit “Going” on the Facebook event and turn on Instagram notifications to be kept up to date. Last year saw opportunities to get tickets after the sale had ended, and uncollected tickets will be re-sold, so keep your eyes peeled!

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