Trinity fire brigade to extinguish river spectators of May Ball fireworks show
May Ball committee plans to erect fountains to drench and protect spectators
Trinity May Ball may be a lot less fun this year for people who don’t want to buy tickets.
Event organisers have said they plan to close off the Cam so that people do not get injured during their fireworks show. Last year, a brawl broke out just before the acclaimed fireworks began, and students on punts in the Cam threw bottles into the fight.
The Tab last year ranked Trinity’s pyromaniacal party better than the London Eye’s NYE celebration. Trinity plans this year to wash out visibility for spectators from the river with a series of massive fountains. The fountains would continuously pour over at least half of the width of the river, ensuring that any potentially violent spectators of the event would get soaked.
In an email to the Conservators of the River Cam, vice president of Trinity’s May Ball committee Joe Ciardiello said that members of the college chiefs expressed how “serious the incidents have been in previous years to the reputation of the college and the safety of both the ball guests and punt-goers”.
The Conservators strongly favour this option to prevent future harm to Mayballers, according to Ciardello. When the fight broke out last year between students and security, students jumped onto the banks of Trinity in the heat of the moment and directly into the ‘safety-exclusion’ zone for the fireworks.
“We believe that by installing water fountains against this bank we can provide a safety barrier between the punt-goers and the firework zone.” Giant fountains of water can better police the banks than humans can, because the fountains will not be injured by exploding pyrotechnics, Ciardellos says.
The Conservators’ river manager Jed Ramsay said they plan to position the fountains only to prevent spectators from getting too close to the fireworks. Some people will still be able to fit onto punts on the other half of the Cam.
Trinity May Ball tickets are open to all members of the university, and about 1800 go every year, although more still watch the firework show.
The 155-quid-per-ticket event may mean to burn a hole in your wallet, but not your body – Trinity’s expensive river extinguishers plan to prevent that.