The Freshers Ball- Is it really worth it?
Freshers Week- the first week of complete independence, making friends for life, and getting “Down it Fresher” screamed in your face. What better way to cap off “the best week […]
Freshers Week- the first week of complete independence, making friends for life, and getting “Down it Fresher” screamed in your face. What better way to cap off “the best week of your life”, than with the glitz and glamour of the Freshers Ball… albeit 7 days after Freshers week has come to a close. A time to hand the tight and bright, army and school uniforms a rest, and give the glad-rags some attention. A great idea that every university adopts, but after the past few years has left Southampton students questioning if it’s really worth it.
With the beloved comfort of your fellow flat-mates and a plethora of acts, set in the relatively cheap and easy-to-get-to location of the The Union, surely the Freshers Ball cannot fail… or can it? At £25 a ticket, plus drinks and taxis, this is not a cheap night out. “It’s a ball, what do you expect?” some may say. Yet the acts and reputation of SUSU events is hardly encouraging. “Headliners” include human beat-boxer Beardyman, Radio 1 ‘star’ Nihal, Chris Stark from the Scott Mills show, Danny from McFly (where are the other 3!?), A. Skillz, Harry Shotta and Freddie and the Freeloaders. Can I hear a collective “Who?!” If SUSU couldn’t be any less encouraging on the nightlife front, The Union, formerly, The Cube, is not known for hosting the wildest nights out and undergoes constant re-branding to boost numbers- Kinki or Twisted anyone?
Of course, any event is down to what you make of it. With the music pumping, the drinks flowing and good company, any night can be special. However, horror stories from previous years can put a downer on any optimism. 2008 Famously saw The Saturdays booed off stage, Calvin Harris’ DJ set consisting of pressing ‘next’ on itunes failed to set the Guildhall alight in 2009, and 2010 was summed up well by one student:
“I left and went to Jesters”.
Anyone would think that some competition from our old foes at Solent would have inspired SUSU to raise the stakes in student satisfaction… Unfortunately, they didn’t quite take the initiative. At the cost of £15 (or free with an AAA pass), Oceana welcomed Pendulum, DJ Seani B, 5ive, S Club, Nandos, Krispy Kreme, Geordie Shore and Solent Freshers. I think I know who got the better deal.
Although it seems that SUSU are going to have a hard time pleasing their students, the Freshers Ball is not a complete write-off. The acts could be more entertaining than expected, the drinks will be cheap, and housed in an environment of drunken Freshers. One can only hope history doesn’t repeat itself, but with SUSU’s willingness to make improvements, this year should certainly be the one which leads by example.