The Ball's theme "Castle on the Hill" alluded both to the Ed Sheeran Song and the college's status as a "hill college"Simon Lock

A failure to meet funding deadlines was not a factor in Monday’s decision to cancel St. Edmund’s May Ball, according to the organising committee’s Co-President, Michael Johnston.

Johnston told Varsity that allegations of disorganisation, recently published in The Tab Cambridge and on Camfess, “were [not] very accurate at all”, stating that poor ticket sales prompted the decision to cancel the event.

The event had sold just 23% of tickets in the two months since their initial release.

Yesterday, an article in The Tab alleged that committee disorganisation was a contributing factor in the decision to cancel the event. The article cited “an anonymous source” who claimed that the committee “had barely met over the last couple of months” due to disagreements over certain aspects of the event, including whether to implement gender-neutral toilets.

The allegations made in The Tab follow a Camfess post last week, which claimed to be written by an “insider”, which stated that the committee had “missed key deadlines” and “cannot refund early spending”.

Johnston confirmed that “in the last five weeks of the Lent vacation [the committee] did not meet”, in part due to “several committee members not being physically in the UK”, but told Varsity that the committee had regular meetings throughout term, alongside individual meetings to track sub-committee progress.

He emphasised, “to my knowledge, we have not missed organizing any key aspects of the project at this point, and that was not a factor in our decision to cancel.”

The Tab’s “anonymous source” also claimed that the committee was in conflict over whether to offer “midget tossing games” as part of the event, a claim which Johnston criticised as “conjecture”. He asserted that “‘midget tossing games’ were never discussed or considered as an entertainment option for the event”.

Speaking of attempts made to save the May Ball, Johnston confirmed that St Edmund’s May Ball committee had approached Darwin May Ball in an effort to combine events, responding to a Camfess which claimed the committee had been “begging” Darwin for this to happen. The committee also approached Hughes Hall and Wolfson for possible opportunities to collaborate.


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Mountain View

Robinson May Ball cancelled due to low ticket sales

The event now officially cancelled, St. Edmund’s May Ball ticket-holders have been offered the option of a ‘VIP’ ticket to Wolfson College May Ball at no extra cost, or a full refund.

St Edmund’s May Ball is the third to be cancelled this academic year, following the cancellation of both Clare and Robinson’s events.

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