Daft Friday gets dafter

Published: 20 December 2002

How it all started and what's happening this year

It may be almost 100 years old but it's anything but old-fashioned. The roots of Daft Friday, the annual Glasgow University Union Christmas bash, date back to 1905 when a student by the name of James Bridie invented the whole affair in a fit of boredom and tedium. As he so eloquently put it in his autobiography,

' On the last day of term, I was sitting in my chair overcome with tedium and clergyman's sore throat. I began to roar and bawl for some form of entertainment. When the President of the Union asked me politely what sort of entertainment I would like, I said I would like a concert. So the President and I and his satellites and my satellites went down to the committee room on the ground floor and dragged a piano into it.

A pianist began to play and we all began to sing. Hard working men on their way to their lectures and exhausted men coming back from their lectures stopped at the open door, drifted in and began to sing too. After about half an hour the committee room was so full that they had to remove the piano into the Debating Hall. At about five in the afternoon a foraging party brought in a cluster of stars from the city pantomimes, and the concert which had been proceeding without intermission since ten o'clock in the morning gathered new vigour.

At about ten o'clock at night the Union manager provided us with ham and eggs and Daft Friday went on till Saturday. Nobody with any tincture of humanity in him attended a class that day. '

(Source Union Ygorra: The Story of the Glasgow University Student over the last sixty years Charles A Oakley - Glasgow University Union, 1950-1)

The event has changed a lot over the years with less prominence to concerts and dinner and more to partying and dancing. As Charles Oakley goes on to say,

'the Daft Friday dance became more and more lavish, bizarre and endless!'.

Over the years, a different theme has dominated each event influenced by film, history or country. This year sees yet another new, but perhaps not surprising, theme ヨ Christmas!

As Julie Craig from this year's GUU organising committee explains, ' What better source of ideas than Christmas? We shall be going traditional with log fires and garlands, cosy corners and intimate lighting. Glamour and glitz will also feature with a Hollywood-style cocktail bar and our very own Crimson Club, recreated in the Reading Room'.

**With special thanks to GUAS for material **

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First published: 20 December 2002