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REVIEW: Jesus May Ball

Aurora certainly lit up the night

As the darkness descended, the college underwent a magical transformation in homage to the polar phenomenon that lights up the night sky. This was a ball that delivered on its theme to bring about a spectacular setting for a wonderful night.

Aurora as a theme was not something original, think Selwyn Snowball 2016. Maybe there's a limit to the number achievable non-culturally appropriative themes out there. Selwyn's was good, yet Jesus delivered it with greater originality and flair than its predecessor.

The decor, for me, was really one of the highlights of the night. It's great to see a design theme which brings a homogenous transformation to a college, making it interesting and not gimmicky. Jesus certainly had a magical touch.

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Fibre optic lit trees were a striking design feature

The headlining act was Scouting for Girls, and alongside playing well known songs of their own they covered numerous others, bringing alive the crowd of students. Jesus made use of a second stage, where the ABBA tribute band turned out to be a popular sensation. The variety of acts was quite wide ranging, including even the Cambridge University Ballet Society.

Similarly, there were a lot of things to do, dodgems, a ferris wheel, aquazorbs, a casino, they were the standard affair found at many May Balls. A unique addition was the outdoor cinema, showing musical films such as Hairspray and Moulin Rouge. Having the silent disco in the cloisters was a picturesque touch.

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Silent disco in the cloisters

Jesus delivered well on the food, including more usual offerings such as Aromi, ice cream, paella Mac N' Cheese as well as great additions of Sri Lankan curry, Sticks N' Sushi, and the sticks of fried halloumi were popular (this is Cambridge after all). Because there was a lot of food on offer, the queues were never unbearably long. They were longer at the beginning, but as the Ball went on I was able to get food sometimes without queueing at all.

Jesus avoided its mistake last year with drinks when it ran out of alcohol early. Themed cocktails were on offer, in shades of violet, pink, and even vibrant green. Speaking of coloured drinks, there was an alarming amount of VKs to keep students going through the night. There was only one place where you could order your own cocktails though, and the queue for that was generally pretty long. I have to question the strength of Jesus's drinks, as despite having numerous cocktails I wasn't even tipsy. And I'd definitely be the first to admit I'm a lightweight.

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Another creative design feature

Another aspect that could be improved would definitely be the toilet situation. This is often a less glorious but necessary part of May Ball organisation. After all, needing the toilet is inevitable with copious amounts of drink. As the portable toilets were closed halfway through the Ball, this meant that queues for other toilets were long.

All in all, the entertainment, food and design of Jesus May Ball combined to create a memorable night. The ticket price was £145, so more expensive than the cheapest May Balls like Robinson, but not quite the high end of John's and Trinity. Of course that is objectively a lot of money, and only the individual can decide whether it's worth it or not. But if you wanted great ambience and fun, then Jesus delivered.