So How “Great” Was The Gatsby Graduation Ball?


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Not a bad show, old sport.

8.0 Awesome
Recently was the class of 2019 Graduation Ball, courtesy of SUSU’s events organisers. This year’s theme was the good old Great Gatsby – one that is overly familiar to us all but certainly well executed this year, in all of its glittery excess. Students were clad in sparkly gowns and tailored suits as they patiently awaited the official opening of the grand gates to Gatsby’s mansion. Although the event was fashionably late, it certainly didn’t disappoint.

American Roulette on the bottom floor of Grad Ball 2019 | Credit: Tabassum Rahman

Theme & Atmosphere

Jennifer: I think this year’s ball successfully achieved the balance between contemporary entertainment and vintage dance hall vibes – it emulated all the glitz and glamour of the 1920s, while still accommodating for everyone’s musical preferences on a typical night out. On a more personal note, I found the ball incredibly nostalgic because not only would this be my first and last ball, but I also rekindled connections I made with people I hadn’t seen since my first year at the University.

In addition, I feel as though the theme was well received by everyone. I saw some spectacular ball gowns and the atmosphere generally seemed rather energetic and full of warmth and laughter.

Does anyone have a spare headphone? | Credit: Tabassum Rahman

Tabassum: This Graduation Ball really knew how to meet everyone’s taste, providing contemporary entertainment (the bottom floor was a club room and outdoors was a silent disco) and vintage jazz entertainment at the Bridge.

The efforts made to make the graduation ball meet the great in Great Gatsby was well paid off, from the gate entrance being surrounded by Rolls Royces to the silent disco area being covered in glittery white trees, and very ‘instagrammable‘ photo opportunities everywhere. It definitely was a great way for graduates to end their university lives with their friends and rekindling with other course mates or people from freshers.

Food & Drinks

Tabassum: The main course of food was alright, consisting of hot dogs, burgers, and loaded fries, but although it definitely filled me up and is definitely suited for a drunk night out, it failed to bring my stomach to the luxurious nightlife in Great Gatsby.  The desserts, however, were beautifully presented next to the flowery trees under the mood lighting and tasted lovely. It was the best compared to the rest of the food and drinks I had that night.

As for drinks, it was definitely very difficult to be able to swim through the tin of sardines at the various bars to grab a drink as the night got longer. However, to be fair, the drinks were decent prices so I wouldn’t say the drinks were a complete downer.

Does anyone have a sweet tooth? | Credit: Jenny Banful

Jennifer: My take on the food is that there was a good variety of sweet and savoury options to satisfy everyone’s drunken cravings. It was an appropriate spin on American fast-food cuisine accompanied by Gatsby-inspired names for each dish. It was a similar service to what you might find at a fairground which made ordering food more efficient.

I opted for the vegan burger and was very pleased that there was a plant-based option on the menu. I also tried some of the pastries throughout the night and thought they were delicious though incredibly decadent. Presentation wise, the food was elegantly displayed, encased in gold trays and gold cake stands (again, keeping in line with the overall theme). I also liked that there were indoor and outdoor dining areas to suit your preference.

In true Gatsby fashion, I would have loved to have kept the drinks coming all night but as Tabassum mentioned, the queues were unavoidable with the event being in such high demand. There was a minimum wait time of 20 mins, I would say. Since some of the card machines were not working, this put a severe strain on the bar facilities.

All Manner of Delight… 

Tabassum & Jenny in front of the Rolls Royce by the gates of the Grad Ball | Credit: Le Liu

For the attendees, it was a night of little consequence and tonnes of pleasure. There were live jazz bands, a live DJ set, silent disco headsets, roulette tables, flapper girls, Ford Model T’s, cocktails, pastries, and crystal chandeliers as bright as our futures!

Fixtures such as the golden streamers, spectacular water fountain, giant golden dice, blossom trees, fluorescent 2019 decal, fairy lights, firelit lamps, plastic zebra, and white table cloths, not only provided ample photo opportunities but it also enabled the student union building to embody the excess of the Roaring Twenties; no expense spared.

What did you think of the Great Gatsby Ball? Take part in our poll below and take a look at the other slides to see some of the most fashionably dressed people of the night.


Best Dressed for the Ball!

Here we present to you some of the attendees of the night we found who were best dressed and in full glam for all things Great Gatsby.

The one and only Ivan Morris Poxton (Editor of Wessex Scene, 2018-2019) | Credit: Tabassum Rahman
We love a girl that can elegantly rock emerald green! | Credit: Tabassum Rahman
Thirnayani in a beautifully patterned lime green and black maxi dress | Credit: Tabassum Rahman


This girl tells us that her lovely sparkly maxi dress is from ASOS! | Credit: Tabassum Rahman
Another lovely couple that smashed the Gatsby theme well | Credit: Tabassum Rahman
This bright blue maxi dress blew us away before we even got through the gate! | Credit: Tabassum Rahman


These gorgeous girls absolutely knew how to pose and own it for the camera. Gold dress on the left is from Reserve London, and the gold dress on the right is from asos | Credit: Jenny Banful


All suited up at the club floor | Credit: Jenny Banful
Accessories truly transform an outfit, these girls were nicely decked out for the Gatsby theme | Credit: Tabassum Rahman


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International Editor for 2018/19 | Writes mainly International/Opinion pieces

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