This year’s celebration has been an unparalleled success, with more attendees than ever experiencing record levels of misery from October to June.
Many lucky students stayed awake for all hours of the event, drinking heavily and taking part in the huge variety of activities, such as ‘seminars and salsa’ and the ‘dissertation disco’. Another highlight was the headliners, which included the world-renowned blues act ‘Depression, Anxiety, and Self-Loathing’, although some guests were disappointed that lesser known acts such as ‘Bliss’ and ‘Emotional Stability’ failed to appear.
“There was just so much to do, it was impossible to keep up,” said classicist Emily Milton, a ball-attendee from Sidney Sussex. “I was really flagging towards the end and for a while I forgot why I even wanted to come in the first place. I thought I might have to leave early but I’m so relieved I made the survivor’s photo at Senate House.”
“I know it might have seemed extravagant, but it was definitely worth it,” said Marcus Atherton, who gave spoken word performances on Anglo-Saxon history at Sidgwick’s main stage. “Yes, this experience wasn’t relevant to the real world, but it wasn’t about that, it was about the constant stress and dejection of the journey that guests were taken on.”
The event is one of the most famous of its kind, having run for over 800 years, and competition for tickets was fierce. The deadline to apply for a place at the ball closed in mid-October, with a ‘pool’ of extra tickets being released later in the year. Standard tickets went for £9,000 and wealthier students reportedly made significant investments to increase their chances of attendance.
Cameron Bridgeworth, head of the Misery May Ball committee said: “The ending didn’t go to plan. After the Examination Extravaganza in the West Cambridge Marquee, everyone started spending loads of their own money to have a good time and it seemed to detract from the scheduled awfulness that came before it.”
Ball-goer and English student Timothy Bainbridge said: “I’m already excited for next year’s ball. I hear the theme is going to be ‘Panic and Existential Despair’ and I can’t wait to see what they do with that one.”