Many students remember long nights spent queueing in the cold and the rain, often for upwards of 10 hours, for the chance at purchasing a ticket to May Ball. Similar to Christmas Ball, the queue has become a part of the event itself, previously celebrated in the form of a Ma Bells Tuesday that would culminate in hordes of drunken guests descending upon the bandstand until the sales began 8 hours later. Much to the disappointment of local tent and sleeping bag purveyors, the traditional queue has now been replaced by a virtual one, as this year’s ticket sales will be solely digital.
The move to FIXR is not unprecedented: In 2014, May Ball tickets were partially sold through the app as a precursor to the bandstand ticket sales. This will be the first year, however, that physical tickets will not be offered in any capacity. Fernando Maluf, ball convenor, recognises that, despite being a part of May Ball tradition, queueing is frequently seen as a necessary evil rather than a genuinely enjoyable affair. By allowing students to purchase tickets from their phones or laptops, he hopes to eliminate the ire often associated with ticket sales.
Unsurprisingly, demand is expected to be high. To combat the potential of the app crashing, Fernando has arranged for two separate “events”: VIP ticket sales and Classic ticket sales. This will somewhat regulate the metaphorical mobs of ticket buyers, streamlining each guest’s attempt at purchasing their preferred ticket. The bandstand will later be incorporated as the venue for wristband collection, allowing it to retain its position as an iconic part of our pre-May Ball activities.
The switch from physical to digital ticket sales is an example that other events may be inclined to follow. This past year, the Mermaids were forced to contend with the backlash incited by record queueing for Christmas Ball; students who joined the queue at 1am did not succeed in purchasing tickets. Despite the argument that queueing is an experience in and of itself, there reaches a point where it cannot be classed as anything other than ridiculous. We have been given the technology to eliminate queueing, and we would all be better off using it.
May Ball ticket sales may be purchased through FIXR beginning Wednesday at midday.