Jesus May Ball 2013

FRANCESCA HILL dresses like a middle-aged woman and spends a long time staring at a some pretty lights.

jesus may ball Maverick Sabre Mistajam

Jesus May Ball


Monday, 17th June, £123

Normally, I’m a bit of a whinger. At May Balls, I like to focus on my two favourite party whines: firstly, that my feet are killing me, and secondly, that I’m bloody freezing. This year I decided to be totally outrageous and m.e.n.t.a.l. and dress in an outfit my mother would actually approve of. Armed with flat shoes, not-so-sexy thermal leggings and the kind of coat people take to Siberia, I had an amazing time. Girls, I promise you: dressing like a middle-aged woman will change your May Ball life for the better.

Ball themes are difficult to get right. It’s very rare that a ball committee announces their theme to even majority support, and Jesus’ Dreamcatcher theme at first glance seemed unlikely to hold everything together. That said, whilst only an actively great theme really adds to the atmosphere of a ball, an average theme is normally enough to make do. On this occasion, some simple props and strong theming of courts (Childhood, Flying, Nightmare etc.) created what was definitely a cohesive event.

By far the single greatest contributor to the evening’s aesthetic success was a “lightweight interactive multimedia ball”, a huge glowing globe upon which morphing projected images constantly danced. Perhaps I was tired, perhaps I was drunk, but I could happily spend up to five minutes at a time staring at it, mesmerised.

The music was good without being amazing. Headliners Maverick Sabre and Mistajam had some success with the crowd, though few people were left raving about the experience. That said, let’s face it, you don’t go to Jesus for the biggest or coolest musical acts, so nobody left disappointed. The acoustic and acapella acts in the cloisters were perhaps more successful, providing the perfect break from all the excitement.

A wide range of drinks was available throughout the night, and thanks to multiple drinks stalls in every section of the ball, nothing took too long to acquire. You name it, they had it somewhere, and it was only a matter of tracking it down using your slightly rubbish programme. (I claim it was a bad map; my friends claim I can’t read maps.)

Food was one of the highlights of the night. Surprise successes came from the authentic spicy Caribbean goat curry and a luxury mac and cheese stall offering exciting pasta variants including the Don Macaroni (with pesto and bacon) and the Kanye Western (with hot-dogs and barbecue sauce). The puns only added to the flavour.

The biggest queue of the night was for the Outback Burger stand, with ostrich proving the clear and perhaps surprising favourite over bison and kangaroo. They all tasted great, and as a result the queue never lessened; there was no shortage of people bemoaning the fact, and it seemed to be the major gripe of the night.

Queuing was otherwise neither a stand-out success nor failure. Dodgems, the mac and cheese, and of course the ladies toilets all had queues stretching all the way out to somewhere near Girton, but otherwise little waiting was involved. Yes, there were queues; no, they rarely took more than ten minutes.

Once again, Jesus has confirmed its status as one of the most consistently well planned and executed balls in Cambridge. The food was good; the drink was good; the atmosphere was good. You need nothing more.

Food and Drink:


Wow Factor:


Value for Money:


Star Attraction: The big glowing ball thing

Biggest Turn-Off: Girls toilet queue