The first details of the 2011 Graduate Ball have been released, following the last Union Management Board meeting before Christmas.
Dining tickets will cost up to £59 for the event that will take place on Wednesday the 8th of June 2011 at the City Cruise Terminal , which holds a capacity of 3200. This makes a change from last year, when the Ball was spread over two nights at the Guildhall, costing up to £48 for a dining ticket, where Feeder and Radio 1 DJ Scott Mills performed as the headline acts on both nights.
The decision was taken last year to split the Ball due to the high costs and limited venue options that could cater for the thousands of students who attended, but following stark criticism of how the Ball was organised last year, SUSU have actively sought a venue that can accommodate a single-night event, as it “will save on entertainment costs”.
Last year’s split event caused outrage amongst students – many of whom complaining that friends weren’t able to all go on the same night, with tickets for the first night selling out within hours of the Box Office opening.
Students had reportedly queued from as early as 4am to get hold of tickets that were released at the Box Office a few hours before they became available online. With the Box Office website crashing due to demand, many students were left desperately ringing friends in an attempt to get tickets or using Facebook groups to trade days.
Speaking of the improvements SUSU want to make on last year’s issues, SUSU President Billy Fitzjohn said, “SUSU will be paying great attention to the Graduate Ball and we will make sure we learn from the experiences of last year. The Grad Ball is a special event and one that graduates will remember for a long time after their University life, we want these memories to be the very best and we want to put on an amazing show for all of those graduating this Summer.
“SUSU will make sure that all those wanting to attend the event will be informed of how they can get tickets, when they can get them and what they are entitled to. We will be working very hard to make sure that they have a good experience when purchasing their tickets and when they attend the event, communication will be key to having a successful event. We have decided to hold the Ball on just one night this year, which already creates less confusion as people will now not have to chose between two different nights, and the venue this year will have a larger capacity than that at the Guildhall.”
Another complaint last year was that final year students were not given priority over other students, meaning that not enough tickets were available for all final year students to attend. Fitzjohn responded by saying SUSU “will be working on a system to make sure that final year students get priority but as we are still in the early planning stage we have not explored the possible ways of doing this or the possible problems that may come from doing it. By the end of January we will have a more confirmed idea of how we will be undertaking this.”
Last year saw Burlesque acts and SUSU performing arts groups take to the stage throughout the night, with Feeder and former SURGE DJ and now a Radio 1 presenter, Scott Mills performing. This year, however, SUSU are looking to “make the event bigger because of the venue capacity, and it is proposed to have fireworks and fairground attractions on top of other entertainment arranged”.
Non-dining tickets will cost £45, compared to £35 last year. The date tickets go on general sale is yet to be released, but if the timetabling is the same last year, the Wessex Scene predicts tickets will be available at the start of March.
What acts do you want to see perform this year? Is the price too much? Are you worried about the date of the ball? Are you just excited? Give your opinion and comments below.