Night at the Museum: Hoedown After Dark

Night at the Museum: Hoedown After Dark

The statues didnít come alive, but the pig sure did

On a cold, breezy night, Critic Te Ārohi strapped on RM Williams boots and Harry Styles-esque cowgirl hats and wandered on over to the biggest event the country folk of Dunedin have ever seen: the Hoedown After Dark, held by the Tūhura Otago Museum and OUSA. 

Hosted from 7-10pm on Friday, May 17th, the event promised (and delivered) line dancing, cocktails, bracelet-making, karaoke, and the illustrious mechanical bull – or pig, as we disappointingly found out. With the Billy Ray Cyrus pumping and the lights lighting, the multi-story museum became home to an eclectic mix of wild students and wine mums united by country music. We love intersectionality! 

The night started off fairly tame with some line dancing. Editor Nina Brown tore up the dance floor alongside Clubs and Socs Rep Emma Jackson, getting that heel-toe action on lock. For others, it wasn’t so easy. “It’s not very drunk person friendly,” a nearby wanna-be dancer complained. “It feels incredibly inappropriate being this fucked up at the museum.” Critic Te Ārohi concurs. 

The interactive parts of the museum remained open throughout the event, allowing guests to, well, interact with science. There was a bike-riding skeleton, lots of dead insects, and an indoor slide that few wanted to risk riding down out of fear of upsetting their stomachs, to put it lightly. In a GOATed move, karaoke was in the planetarium, making it feel as if the entire solar system had been replaced with the lyrics to Carrie Underwood’s ‘Before He Cheats’. Critic Te Ārohi can almost guarantee the English language hasn’t been used to construct a sentence like that before!

The most anticipated feature of this honky-tonk was the slippery pig, where guests were blessed with the sight of many of a horde of OUSA exec clutching onto the greasy pink mammal. Prez Keegan, Admin VP Emily, Academic Rep Stella, and International Rep Ibuki all managed to stay on for an impressive few seconds each. Stella credited her success to “many years of riding real horses,” arguing she “can take on a plastic pig.” 

Ex-Polytech student Kate and Oliver, who travelled all the way from Palmerston to get a leg over the pig, commented, “This night is fuckin’ awesome. I’m sorry for swearing so much, but fuck yeah.” Kate lasted 18 whole seconds on the untamable beast, winning a voucher to Xyzzy in the process. As a freshly minted 18-year-old, Oliver found that the Hoedown was “a less scary alternative to town” suggesting that the event allowed him to socialise with his friends and other uni-age people – even if he did spend most of his time outside having a vape.

With the added thrill of being able to go visit the exotic butterflies while buzzing on 1.25L of jungle juice, the night was, as many Critic staff put it: “Just the rooting tootingest best time I’ve ever had in a museum. Yeehaw!” Verbatim. 

The moral of the story: if you only went for country music, it was a blast. But even if you were dragged along, there were many opportunities to save a horse and ride a slippery pig.

This article first appeared in Issue 13, 2024.
Posted 7:34pm Sunday 26th May 2024 by Hanna Varrs and Molly Smith-Soppet.