Pembroke June Event 2014

The nail was hit on the head by this year’s committee says ISOBEL GOODER.

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It would be easy, reader, for you to dismiss this review as biased. After all, I had the home advantage. Nevertheless in my biased opinion this unpretentious June Event blew John’s – the night before – out of the water. Atmosphere is not something that money can buy.

The theme was ‘Tales from the Toybox’ and the decs team did not disappoint. The college had been transformed in four hours into a walled neverland-like kingdom. Brightly coloured throws, reams of fairy lights, a Mad Hatter tea party dining table and a Peter Pan-esque bedroom greeted us. The Ents were perfectly in keeping with the theme; from a bouncy castle to an actual train track that transported party goers from one end of college to the other.

Tinkerbell the long-distance locomotive

Dodgems are a May Week staple but they seemed even more appropriate in light of the theme. A well tended shisha den in the Master’s Garden left us feeling like naughty underage teenagers again. Salsa dancing in the hall was a little incongruous but hilarious nonetheless and attracted as great a number of spectators as it did participants.

The highlight of the evening, however, was certainly the music, organised by fresher Danny Tomkins. On a June Event budget we were treated to a night of truly excellent tunes. Four man band from Manchester, Nude, got the crowd going. Headlining was boyband The Crookes who joined revellers on the dance floor after their set and stayed there til dawn. DJ Cryptix, a Creem staple, followed with a disco set. The reason the live music was so enjoyable certainly had to do with the sound quality which was better than any of the may balls I went to. Pembroke became Glastonbury for one night only. One girl was so moved by the music that she cried for three hours.

The life and soul of the party

The Silent Disco took place in a clearing that was transformed into an enchanted forest. DJs Emma Snook and Ebony and Ivory got everyone going. It was so popular that a queue formed and a policy of no headphones outside the den was enforced. This was the only time I really queued all evening.

Everything ran like clockwork from the cloakroom to the loos. Lines at food stalls moved fluidly and we gorged on hot dogs, churros, paella, fish and chips, ice cream to our heart’s content. Even breakfast was excellent of a top notch croissant and some freshly squeezed orange juice. A shot bar with tequila, sambuca and various flavours of Smirnoff was a popular pitstop and probably responsible for the fact that a lot of partygoers missed the survivor’s photo. The White Russians at the cocktail bar were so good I had another one, or five. It’s a bit of a blur.

This became less ‘Bedknobs and broomsticks’ and more ‘bump n’ grind’

It is often said that June Events are a lot boozier than your average may ball. Following the survivors photo a scuffle broke out but it was quickly diffused. The atmosphere was too convivial for any animosity to last.

The good vibes at Pembroke were unbelievable. Perhaps I’m partial to a more intimate setting. In any case, Pem hit the spot.

If next year’s May Ball is anything like this June Event, get yourself a helicopter and a parachute.