With May Week effectively cancelled, many students have been grieving the loss of the Balls, June Events and garden parties that usually mark the end of a busy academic year.
However, following the announcement of a Virtual May Ball and despite the pandemic, students now finally have something to look forward to.
Though the May Ball will be hosted on Zoom, rather than at John’s or Trinity, the organisers are keen to give attendees as authentic an experience as possible. The dress code is black tie from the waist up – though some may wish to wear high heels during the 45 minute waiting room. Once in, security will repeatedly check guests’ wristbands over webcam, while any gatecrashers will be forcibly muted.
“We recognise no amount of firework backgrounds on Zoom can match up to the hype of going to a Ball in person,” said Ents Officer Emily Milton. “To that end, we want to encourage everyone to join us in replicating an in-person event. Cover your bathroom with used cups, perhaps a line or two of coke if you’re missing King’s Affair. Queue in your kitchen to get food from your fridge. Sit in silence with your headphones on to recreate a silent disco. Get in the tumble dryer to emulate a ride on the ferris wheel, if you’re feeling particularly wild.”
The committee have been keen to prove that they can pull out all the stops in making the Virtual May Ball more than just an online event. In a feat of organisation, they have arranged for St John’s ambulance teams to wait in student’s front rooms in case of emergency, and have enlisted parents to gently tell their partying offspring that “you’ve probably had enough now” at the end of the night. Colonel Spanky’s Love Ensemble have even been recruited to perform a set in everyone’s garden. “Yes, it will be a logistical nightmare,” conceded band manager Cecil Jones, “but we played to a military clique in Zimbabwe last year. This will be a piece of cake in comparison.”
Many have praised the inclusivity of this novel event. “I can’t wait,” said attendee Cameron Bridgeworth. “My whole street’s getting involved to support me – Doris down the road is going to chunder in her recycling bin just after midnight. It may even be better than a real Ball.”
Those who disagree, however, are urged to burn £160 in cash instead.