REVIEW: Selwyn Snowball

A glittering night slickly organised

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The ‘Titania: A Midwinter Night’s Dream’ theme pervaded the college through glitter artist, warm cider, shadow theatre and rosily illuminated buildings. 

The one-way system implemented around the site ensured an easy flow of people rather than an angry bottleneck build-up. More pleasing still was the entrance queue (yes, I know): arriving about ten minutes earlier than opening time, our hearts sank a bit during the long walk to the end of the line.

Tickets and I.D.s were soon checked and rewarded with wristbands however, and warm cider and pigs in blankets helped sustain us for the following few minutes.

By opening time, everyone was allowed to simply float in.

Looking good

This breezy queuing situation remained largely the reality throughout, though the queues for all the nicher attractions were fairly long, due to them being few and far between. This meant that Alice and I aborted our plan to glitter up and take the photo booth, as both queues would have taken us at least half an hour each.

Most devastating of all was my lack of attendance at the silent disco. Having transformed from casino to silent disco half way through the night, the Chadwick room or ‘dark forest’ became incredibly popular, with obviously a limited amount of headphones to offer enthusiastic ballers.

A photo which I upsettingly didn’t take

The queue was also very firmly outside in the biting cold, unlike, pleasingly, the rest of the ball.

Having had no entry problem with silent discos at other balls, I would again have to blame this on the limited number of activities on offer aside from dancing in the main hall and chilling in the bar. Everyone was ready to silent disco.

Old Court. Icy cool. Also icy cold

The food was also a bit of a disappointment. Mainly served up in Selwyn’s servery, it felt a bit like bog standard canteen food, with options including 3 different types of chips, meatballs with rice, chicken skewers and treacle sponge.

Rather ample food attained with ease, which is what this was, but it lacked x-factor. I did very much enjoy the cheese selection, even though it was quite modest, and a falafel spinach flatbread.

Mingle to the jingle

These qualms aside, the main body of the ball was huge fun.

I spent a great portion of the night in the main hall and have no regrets about that. The music provided the ball’s ultimate source of entertainment and did not disappoint.

On arrival, I consumed a pie, some sweet potato fries and three mojitos before reaching the main hall, where I picked up a passionfruit flavoured Rekorderlig cider— would recommend— and it was as I enjoyed this that the Hot Lights started playing Dreaming of You and I felt my first warm, alcoholic rush of the night.

The dream

The acts to follow did not disappoint.

The headliner, Philip George, played to a packed hall with a fantastic atmosphere. I didn’t get a pic because I was too busy moshing with the cool kids and pulling serious shapes.

Dupes also proved to be the pinnacle of entertainment, his energy ricocheted off the walls and he even went in for a cheeky crowd surf at the end. I particularly enjoyed taking photos of his on-stage-cameraman taking photos of me.

The camera definitely faced the audience much of the time, I promise

And, at two in the morning, I really did want nothing more than to crack open a beer and start shuffling around to I Saw Her Standing There, which is exactly what happened, with the help of The Apple Core Beatles.

The Beatles…or The Apple Core Beatles….?

Other highlights included watching Cadenza sing acapella in the chapel, which was a beautiful setting and worked really well. I also had a nice sofa-level-sit-down with a Hawaii cocktail in the bar, as the majority of people around me sung along to Don’t Stop Believing on karaoke in their black tie.

I’ve never felt more affiliated with Cambridge University.

Cadenza in the chapel

The sparkles on wristbands and dresses did certainly seep into the ambience of the evening. The programme’s explanation of the enchanted wood as ‘the perfect space for the suspension of rules and ample food, drink and entertainment’ where ‘fairy magic, not the rule of law, can reign supreme’ was effectively realised during the ball.

One night to remember

Everyone was energetic, happy and laughing, and this had much to do with the abundant and available food and drink, magical surroundings, and superb music.

The Selwyn Snowball was a great way to end term and I think everyone who attended would agree that the atmosphere was truly buzzing; this alone is testimony to the fact that this year’s committee should be really proud of their enchanted creation.