ELLIE PITHERS: ‘The Emmanuel Committee succeeded in creating a Ball atmosphere with an Event’s budget.’

I bought a ticket for Emmanuel June Event on the strength of a cold hard marketing ploy: free Butterkist popcorn with my flyer. After last year’s theme being shrouded in controversy (‘Empire’ just isn’t very PC, apparently), this year’s theme was rather more placid: Hollywood.

Popcorn was promised and popcorn was delivered, and I ate my bodyweight in the salted little puffs of joy. I should probably add here that I was nearly sick with excitement as the gates were opened and I stampeded into Emmanuel; as my popcorn ecstasy reveals, I’m easily pleased. Cookies and Sherbert sticks on arrival fuelled my enthusiasm, and I even got excited when I spied Smirnoff Ices in the ice buckets.

The food looked promising on paper and the fajitas served to satiate my lust for chicken. Curly fries and onion rings also garnered more plaudits than they would have done had we been eating in Hall. The milkshakes were also a good call but it was disappointing that they ran out pretty quickly. My main bone to pick with the Emmanuel Committee, however, regards the Mai Thai noodles. I spent roughly two hours attempting to track them down after their location was wrongly recorded on the map. Part of the problem was that the noodles didn’t actually arrive until around 11pm. Once I discovered this elusive tent I promptly gobbled six bowls, just to get my money’s worth. 

But this timing problem was one which was to plague me all evening. Quite a few of the drinks stalls in particular were only serving certain drinks at certain times, and as any Cambridge reveller knows, at a May Ball it’s always Pimms o’clock. Jaegerbombs were only being served for an hour, as was tequila. This was a June Event that had to be played tactically, if you didn’t want to miss out.

Entertainment on offer resulted in a number of bruises, which is always a sign of a top night. I wasn’t able to encase myself in a Zorb ball or do the assault course due to the shortness of my dress, but I did watch a couple of friends make a bid for freedom and escape the Zorb enclosure before their escape attempt was deflated. The queues for these large hamster balls were pretty epic (up to one hour or more) but seemingly worth the wait.

The music was probably the strongest part of the night for the Emma committee. I spent most of my night gyrating to Drum ‘n Bass trying to forget that I was in a sticky, nautical-themed college bar – and for the most part, did. Rattus Rattus and Neon Lights are two acts I have pretended to be a fan of for the past week since they were announced, and now that respect has been validated by two solid sets. The acts in the main tent in Front Court catered more to the Cindies-lovers among us, with the tribute band The Mesh Band at the end of the night infecting swathes of students with the lyrical beauty of ‘Come on Eileen’. The only disappointed audience members were those who had queued to see Totally Tom (of High Renaissance Man fame)previously and found the duo to be “a bit crap,” so a dose of Journey sorted them out no end.

Any night in May Week charged with limitless candy floss and booze is going to be pretty super, but with this year’s June Event the Emmanuel Committee succeeded in creating a Ball atmosphere with an Event’s budget. It didn’t really look like Hollywood, and the big printouts of Pocahontas in the Porter’s Lodge looked a bit limp, but it didn’t feel like there had been any major scrimping or saving on other areas. 

Food and Drink: 

Wow Factor: 

Value for Money: 

Star attraction: Elusive Mai Thai Noodles

Biggest turn off: That Mai Thai Noodles were elusive