Selwyn Snowball

MILO YIANNOPOULOS: “I know it’s not done to speak ill of the dead, but the Selwyn Snowball is a zombie that needs its head chopped off.”

comfort food Milo Yiannopoulos Monopoly Selwyn vodka

Friday 3rd December. £65.


I know it’s not done to speak ill of the dead, but the Selwyn Snowball is a zombie that needs its head chopped off.

A lot of people are giving up on Selwyn’s Michaelmas bash, which seems to be in terminal decline. Judging by the crowd last night, the event was nowhere near capacity, so next year’s committee is going to have one hell of a fight on its hands to sell tickets.

True to form, and as predicted by many, this year’s iteration was something of a trainwreck. (And by ‘trainwreck’, I don’t mean there were bodies strewn over the lawns and smoking, charred bits of wreckage littering the passageways – because that might have been interesting.) The 2010 Snowball was incomparably, astonishingly, devastatingly dull.

Not content with sending guests on an unnecessarily circuitous route into the Ball – setting expectations for the night – the Committee decided to resurrect one of the most unpopular features of any Ball in Cambridge: the legendarily frustrating and unpopular internal one-way system, which scaled dizzying new heights of pointlessness this year. Doubtless the organisers will cry foul and say College insists on this ridiculous system, but those of us who have run Balls know there is always a way around intransigent administrators.

Compliant circuit-goers might have hoped for music that justified the annoyance, but unfortunately most of it was dreadful, with inexcusably long breaks between performances. Around midnight, the entire top room cleared out because punters were sick of waiting for the next act. A weird “easy listening” room that was – like most of the Ball – alarmingly empty for the majority of the night hosted “humorous” barbershop groups and elevator-type jazz. Neither went down well.

Drink choices were limited throughout, and the top bar ran out of vodka and of tonic before midnight. There were rumours of an ice luge but your correspondent couldn’t find it. The edible component was best described as basic comfort food: the sort of stuff it’s impossible to fuck up, like wedges and chicken wraps. It felt as though it had been hastily and cheaply thrown together. That’s how the whole event felt, actually: lacklustre and half-hearted, like a mid-term bop that had spilled out into a few other rooms.

That said, credit must be given to the décor and design teams. The programme was excellent: beautifully designed with an appropriate thirties feel. The Ball itself looked pretty good, at least for the first half of the night, and even the wristbands were of impressive design and quality, showing an attention to detail that should not go unremarked upon. But good visuals weren’t enough to save such a dreary show.

The theme of last night was “Monopoly”. But the only monopolies at Selwyn were on boredom, bad planning and sub-standard entertainment. Deeply, deeply, deeply disappointing.