Library image. The event will be streamed live on facebook on 28th JuneLouis Ashworth

A new take on May Week celebrations has been developed by May Week Alternative (MWA), Cambridge Raising and Giving (RAG) and the May Ball President’s Committee, after May Week events across Cambridge were cancelled due to Covid-19.

The ‘Mega Event’, which will be streamed live on Facebook on 28th June, promises ‘a jam-packed live-stream of entertainment, bringing together musicians, performers and much more from across Cambridge and beyond to deliver an evening of May Week festivities like no other’.

May Week is the highlight of the year for many Cambridge students and its cancellation caused disappointment for many students. It is hoped that the May Week Mega Event will spread some positivity during a difficult time. MWA President, Joe Benton, expressed the excitement of the hosts in providing, “a way for the whole of Cambridge to celebrate the end of the year in a meaningful way” with the aim of raising money “for causes central to the fight against Coronavirus”.

The event will hold a text-to-donate appeal during the live stream as it hopes to add to the funds raised by the Big MAC campaign for Addenbrookes Charitable Trust and the Centre for the Study of Existential Risk. The Big MAC campaign has already raised over £20,000 for the charities, who are dedicated to providing support and research into future pandemics.

President of the Mega Event, George Rosenfeld, believes the virtual gathering “presents a unique opportunity to bring the whole Cambridge community together as one” as it transcends the divided nature of having multiple May Week events across different colleges.


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The digital accessibility also reduces financial barriers to entry, an issue that May Balls have been criticised for in previous years. In November, Pembroke College announced that its May Ball ticket prices would be reduced for 2020 as well as introducing a £30 discount for students receiving bursaries.

President of the May Ball Presidents’ Committee, Charlotte Milbank noted, “we acknowledge that it’s not possible to truly emulate the May Ball experience virtually - but we do hope that our event will provide some sense of nostalgia and can unite Cambridge after what’s been a weird and difficult year for many”.

She further added that the May Week Mega Event promises a line-up of talent from across the university and an “opportunity to celebrate May Week despite the extraordinary circumstances, while supporting those in need”.