Kate Kennedy Charity May Ball: outdated?

Photo: Bettie Payne
Photo: Bettie Payne
Photo: Bettie Payne

With only exams left in this academic year, the Kate Kennedy Club (KKC) offered a welcomed escape from reality with its highly anticipated May Ball. Like every other year, ticket-sale lines were extraordinarily long, with many left wondering whether or not such an event was actually worth the hype. A few days following the infamous dash for May Ball tickets and the announcement that the ball was “sold out,” the KKC released an extra 75 online tickets due to an “extend[ed] license capacity.” This left many infuriated after having spent hours in line for the much coveted tickets. Because of its wide recognition, as well as the hype surrounding its exclusivity, the May Ball practically markets itself. As a consequence of this, many wonder whether or not the ball itself is worth today’s hype. Has May Ball established itself as a classic, staple event or does it need some reinvention? This year’s event was certainly impressive. Yet, there were few surprises; it was a typical KKC event.

Throughout the evening of the May Ball, the KKC definitely ensured that everything ran smoothly. From greeting us at the bus pick up to welcoming us at Kinkell Byre with glasses of prosecco, the KKC was on top form and ran the event like a well-oiled machine. Of course, one of the unique features of May Ball are the rides, meaning that half of the fun is outside. Luckily, the rain seemed to hold off just long enough so that people could enjoy the free cotton candy, the carnival games, dodgems, La Bamba and the Scrambler. Due to the high demand, the lines were a bit long; however, once you got on the ride it was well-worth the wait.

[pullquote]With only exams left in this academic year, the Kate Kennedy Club offered a welcomed escape from reality with its highly anticipated May Ball.[/pullquote]

For those who wanted to splurge there was a separate VIP tent that was beautifully decorated with chandeliers and lanterns. Although gorgeous, it should be noted that these decorations have remained predominantly the same throughout the last couple of years. Inside it had its own large bar, separate stage, a seating area, champagne popsicles and Janettas ice cream. Although it was a bit chilly at the beginning, it eventually warmed up as people began trickling in. The live music and DJ definitely provided the tunes for those ready to dance. It was indeed the place to be, especially if for those wanting something slightly different from the normal ball.

The charm of Kinkell Byre, also decorated with lanterns, offered a wonderful ambiance. The main stage hosted Craig Wilson, Bwani Junction and Julio Bashmore. Although the dance floor was notably empty initially, it became very crowded as the evening progressed. As per usual, all of the bars were always busy; however, this was solved with plenty of bar staff and three bars within the main venue. The drinks were continuously flowing throughout the entirety of the evening. This also meant that my perfectly pristine white dress became increasingly less so.

Alas, the evening came to a close. Unfortunately, I didn’t time my exit well, so I was stuck in the crowd of people, with everyone trying to get home and to get warm. This part of the evening was undoubtedly uncomfortable for many party-goers: the queues were unbearably long and unmanaged. This, coupled with a combination of impatience, cold and inebriation, had led to scores of rowdy arguments with the bouncers. Cyrus Danesh, the ball convener, commented: “While there were a few logistical issues…I sincerely hope that it didn’t take away from the night itself and all the fun which people had at the event.”

Yet in spite of this disagreeable end to the evening, the event had provided a lot of good laughs and great fun. Whether you held a dinner table, VIP or Classic ticket, it was definitely a memorable night: everyone was dressed to impress in funky suits, formal gowns, trendy jumpsuits, or the classic bow tie. Overall, the event’s high expectations were most definitely met, but perhaps next year the KKC can surprise us with a fresh take on a classic ball.

Photo: Bettie Payne
Photo: Bettie Payne



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