Official Exeter freshers event sees hundreds gather on campus to watch Mamma Mia

‘It wasn’t distanced at all’

Hundreds of freshers were seen gathered outside the Forum on Saturday night to watch Mamma Mia.

This occurred after Government restrictions banned the meeting of groups over six except for sport or education.

The evening contained three film showings, with Mamma Mia being the final one. Sources told The Exeter Tab that, whilst the first two films practiced efficient social distancing in groups of six, Mamma Mia became overcrowded, with hundreds of freshers sitting down to watch it.

via Snapmaps

A first year student who attended the event told The Exeter Tab: “Freshers got an email about a movie night. There were three movies in total playing, the last movie (Mamma Mia) had a HUGE crowd that wasn’t distanced at all.

“But last night I went to see another movie at the Forum, and they had everyone sitting in sections of six completely separated.”

The Forum on Saturday night

The event was organised by the university, and the Residence Services Team in an email to first year students said: “Groups can only contain a maximum of six people under government rules – don’t be tempted to join another group, even if you see someone you know – why not drop them a message and arrange to meet another time?”

Similar gatherings have been seen across Exeter over the past week, including outside first year accommodation Birks Grange, which reportedly continued into 3am.

The likes of these gatherings have also been seen in residences such as Holland Hall.

Birks Grange accommodation

Provided by the University of Exeter

A spokesperson for the university stated: “Unfortunately, some of our students did not socially distance as required at an outdoor cinema event on Saturday night and, although the Sunday outdoor cinema night event worked well after we made some changes, we have decided to cancel this evening’s film showing.

“We apologise to any students who were following the Covid-19 rules and anyone who was concerned by the lack of social distancing.

“We are trying to find the right balance between supporting student activities and the government guidance on Covid-19 but we will always prioritise the safety of our community.”