"Flawless sublimity"Trinity May Ball

Two years ago, Varsity released a review of Trinity May Ball in which it declared that the three words that fit the night best were “Must Try Harder”. And, judging by the night, Trinity exceeded this challenge and set the bar incredibly high for this year’s May Week. Being the 150th anniversary of Trinity’s first ever May Ball, this year’s event was hyped up to be one of the greatest parties of all time, and it easily lived up to the expectations held by the entire student population.

With a price of £190 per ticket (note that this ticket price is true, despite what the Daily Mail is likely to report), they succeeded in perfectly balancing class and fun, with an all-night Möet et Chandon bar being countered by the Chase and Status tracks that were blasted out by Sigma during their phenomenal set. However, instead of jumping around from attraction to attraction as one does during a May Ball, it makes sense to tackle this review thematically, as that is the only way to do justice to what an unbelievable night it was.

The range of drinks was vast, excessive in quantity and to the highest quality. Nothing could be improved about a ball that offered every single type of alcohol you could possibly want, from the highly classy aforementioned Moët bar to the knockoff VKs served in the dance tent to the numerous cans of San Pellegrino that filled punts around the grounds. Every taste was catered for, and every area was partnered perfectly with its own set of drinks, including a chill-out area where smoothies and soft drinks helped to refresh ball-goers before they carried on with their 10-hour party.

However, the food was on another level entirely. Name a food and it is likely that Trinity provided it. While the queues appeared long, they actually moved at a surprising pace. From the standard oysters (only in Cambridge would a phrase like that be considered normal) to the full English breakfast pots (a delightful, filling treat to end the night), there was never any shortage of delicious food, and special mention should go to the Philly Cheesesteak and Sweet Potato Fries stalls, which successfully deviated from the usual May Ball fare of hog roasts and mac ‘n’ cheese.

The range of music had clearly been cleverly thought through. Every act that played at this year’s ball was handpicked by the highly capable Ents Officers, and it really did show. With the relaxed acoustic vibes of Fuller and Marlow (read: the artist formerly known as Fuller and Co.), the upbeat jazzy pop covers of the Handlers and the renowned vocal prowess of Dirty Blonde, the student ents were especially good this year. Of course, it is impossible to talk about a May Ball without mentioning the headliners, in this case Nothing But Thieves and Sigma, both of which played stunning sets and truly got the crowd pumping. Music can make or break a night, and, clearly, Trinity were able to secure the right balance between student bands and big names, a holistic approach which worked well.

The fireworks: WOW. If you are reading this and you did not manage to watch the Trinity fireworks, I must apologise, because words cannot do justice to how incredible they were. It truly was a ‘you had to be there’ moment, and by moment I mean 20 minutes. Not only were there fireworks to rival London on New Year's Eve, there was a terrific light show which captivated practically the entirety of both Trinity and Clare May Balls.

However, despite Trinity perfecting all of these things that every May Ball has, these are not what made it truly great. It was in fact the little things, such as the classical music and opera found in the OCR, the hairstylist and make-up artist in the Allhusen Room, the photographers from Jet Photographic by the entrances who were on hand to capture the fresh-faced students as they entered into this land of wonder and the hidden away punting tours of the river that set Trinity apart from the other May Balls. The unique small-scale events around every corner, combined with the most rigorous attention for detail, was what made the evening flow with flawless sublimity.

Every part of the ball felt as though it had been meticulously hand-crafted to ensure maximum enjoyment, and I feel like that was the key to making this not only the best May Ball I have ever been to, but arguably one of the best nights of my life. And if, in 50 years time, I have the opportunity to go to Trinity’s 200th May Ball as an elderly 70-year-old man, you can be damn well sure I’ll take it.