Come what May - one of the first events of May week Daniel Zhang

Hughes Hall and Lucy Cavendish are admittedly not two of most well-known Cambridge colleges. Nevertheless, they made a brilliant May Week couple, hosting Come What May; jauntily called a June Ball.

Come What May's format was pitched somewhere between a June event and a May Ball – reflected in ticket prices, starting at £65 for early birds and finishing at £95. These prices meant that I was expecting something a bit different, and as such went along with no expectations. We arrived about half an hour before the gates opened and were inside within 40 minutes, better than Homerton the night before which took an hour. There wasn’t any in-queue entertainment, which I think is always a missed opportunity to welcome guests. We were, however, greeted with a glass of cava, but no nibbles or canapés. 

Though pleased to receive a long overdue drink, we were also starving, so headed straight for the food tent. There was one main food tent, which was a bit disappointing as it was the only one serving savoury food. In the first half, paella and pulled pork buns were offered, and in the latter half mac 'n' cheese and nachos. I had the vegetarian paella and pulled pork immediately upon entering; the pulled pork was a winner, but sadly the vegetarian paella was pretty terrible – lacking sufficient seasoning and quite unpleasant. However the paella was to make a come back: later in the evening the meat paella restored my faith. There was also a waffle stand, a standard May Ball/June Event offering, but nonetheless very yummy.

Unlike the food there was ample choice of alcoholic drinks, and hardly any queues at all. Between the standard offering of wine and beer, there was also a cocktail stand. Disappointingly, the cocktails came from bags; their taste may have been mediocre, yet they were certainly drinkable. What was impressive was that the bar in the main music tent had virtually no queue; a lot of attention and effort had been put into making sure the flow of drinks didn’t run out; the quantity was simply brilliant.

Entrance to Hell Daniel Zhang

The music throughout was a mix of good tunes which were easy to dance to. A silent disco, ever a May Week favourite, didn’t disappoint with three channels to choose from (usually there are just two). Other entertainments included a ferris wheel, sisha, a photo booth, casino and fresh flower head bands; all fitting well with the theme; Paradise, Lost. 

However, for me the real triumph of the night was attention to details; the wristbands coloured to portrayed the theme; the range of pretty programmes and especially the use of the space, made the event feel vast. I think the decorations committee did a brilliant job making a distinction between the heaven and hell inside the college buildings.

It is nearly impossible to draw a parallel with any other event I have been to. I was thoroughly entertained and ate and drank well. In my honest opinion  £95 for the ticket wasn’t value for money, but at the lower amount which I paid (£65) the event was well worth it, and I look forward to next year's Come What May.

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