Trinity May Ball 2014

Probably the best May Ball this year, says CHARLIE BELL.


Trinity May Ball has got to be one of the most opulent and ridiculous parties in the universe. It’s got a lot to live up to, and I think this year’s committee played a blinder. It wasn’t perfect – the best things never are – but it was epic, and despite feeling like an opulent hog porcining my way through oysters and champagne, I am pretty sure it was worth the significant amount of dollar.

And let’s start with the champagne – no other ball seems to have quite such a superb and bottomless vat of delicious bubbly desire, and not just cheap stuff – stuff Her Britannic Majesty Queen Elizabeth II would have slugged. The champagne, to me, really exemplified the tone of the whole evening. It was classy, it was over-the-top, and it was bottomless.

Liz couldn't ask for better

Liz couldn’t ask for better

The entertainment was also superb. The fireworks cannot be faulted; they were outstanding, ending with a spectacular science-y light show on the Wren Library. To me, this was a bit of a game changer – the whole evening has taken a step up and I suppose might soon challenge John’s as the party ball too. Trinity is known for its tradition and for most things staying roughly the same (and excellent). A few pretty impressive innovations like this every year is going to stand this one out from the crowd.

The light show looked less shit in real life, honest

It looked less shit in real life. Honest

One of the joys of Trinity is the variety of stuff going on all night – and again, they didn’t disappoint. I have to admit that my mental faculties were a little worn out by the time of Lawson, but I do remember dancing atrociously to Big Brovaz, particularly their delightful rendition of the Julie Andrews favourite ‘Favourite Things’. Very trendy indeed. Upstairs there was high quality classical music, and the main hall had band after band keeping clearly shattered students on their feet hour after hour.

Perfect look for a rave with Lawson

Lawson’s No.1 fan

Another nice touch was the casino within a band tent, which made the whole thing rather less tacky. The comedy was also excellent, and the general lighting and design of the additions to Trinity’s not unimpressive exterior really hit the spot, and somewhat made up for the seriously irritating and constant wrist-band checking. I don’t know if that’s something which will just never be sorted out, but it’d be nice to think that somewhere next year, you won’t have to do an almost constant Roman salute with your right hand every time you cross a sodding bridge.

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She’s smiling now. But this is only queue number one…

If I was to make a complaint, which of course I am, it was the queuing for food. They were seriously long, for most of the evening, and it meant a lot of people didn’t have the chance to try the impressive variety of different food and drinks. These things are, doubtless, bloody hard to organise, but I’ve seen this aspect a lot better. Given how much there is on offer at a ball like this, and how little you can realistically get to see, it has the potential to slow the evening down a fair bit, and it’s one thing Trinity need to work on for next year.

Daily Mail fodder

C’mon then Daily Mail, let’s be having yer

Trinity is the socialite ball, and the evening really proved itself this year. I heard very few complaints, above excepted, and frankly had a fucking amazing time. It wow-ed like it should, it was as expected but better, it was traditional with well-placed innovation, and it is probably the best May Ball this year. I was frankly pretty overwhelmed to be there.

People like us don’t deserve this shit – and as it was put to me by my guest for the evening, you’d struggle to see this kind of thing anywhere else (other than The Other Place). We are damned lucky – and I’d strongly suggest you dig deep and buy a ticket for this festival for the senses next year.