If you’d pitched the idea of an on campus masquerade a week ago I’d probably have laughed in your face. Masquerades are meant to be events with a certain kind of spectacle that rightly or wrongly no space on campus should really be able to do justice. Any of the big spaces are just a bit too school disco for something of that scale.
You could forgive the consternation on walking in to an unrecognisable Roger Kirk Centre then. Gone were the canteen tables, speakers blaring Smooth Radio and questionable University food options and in their place I was presented with a ballroom. Granted this wasn’t quite Belle and Beast twirling away to the dulcet tones of Angela Lansbury but the room was unrecognisable. Through astute use of drapes the Roger Kirk had become an event space.
The door team were extremely swift at funnelling people into the room and the Lounge had put on some special cocktails that again ratcheted up the ball element of the evening. The bar queue was at times huge but that had more to do with the number of people at the event and the single bar than the fault of any of the College teams actually involved in organising it.
The Masquerade Ball was also most importantly fun and relaxed. There wasn’t anyone scrutinising dress choices it was just an excuse for everyone to wear masks (which ranged from ridiculous to ravishing…), have a dance and let their hair down ignorant of looming essays or ever mounting piles of reading in desperate need of attention.
A really enjoyable and fairly unique touch was the use of Jive and Jazz bands both of which performed sets that had people as tragic as sounds moving and shaking. There was a real swing in people’s step to the music and although the DJ’s were flawless, the live bands themselves gave the event an extra lift that you wouldn’t have found at other similar College run-events on campus.
As a final note the cooperation between both Colleges was truly admirable. Considering the combative nature of inter-college rivalries it’s often a wonder there’s every any cooperation between them but fortunately in this case Halifax and Vanbrugh pulled off a seamless event with suitable aplomb. They even managed to secure a 20% discount on masques at Festival of Fun for anyone attending the event.
I managed to catch up with the Vice-Chair for Services for Halifax and Vice-Chair of Events for Vanbrugh who both had a few comments to share:
Ella Jarvest of Halifax commented, “In regards to organizing an on-campus event, it is always going to be harder to get students excited and interested. However, working with the excellent team at Vanbrugh, we managed to pull off a unique and successful event.”
Chris Morris of Vanbrugh concurred saying, “Since we came in as the new JCRC this term, we wanted to put an emphasis on big, well-executed, inclusive events. After the success of VERTIGO it was hugely important to give our students another night to remember, and we did that here. It was great working with Fax, too – we’ve now got a great relationship with them going forward. All in all, another massive night #VanFaxBall.”