The viability of the event, which had been due to take place on 22nd June, has been called into question. This follows the revelation on Sunday, that, if abiding by college guidelines, the ball would be financially unfeasible.
Owing to building work at the site, the college authorities have imposed a cap on the number of guests, which is “significantly less” than the minimum number of tickets needed to be sold for the project to break even, according to an email sent to members of the JCR.
Despite approval of plans for the event by an independent health and safety consultant, and dialogue between college authorities and the ball committee for the past seven months, the college has only this week decided to limit the number of guests.
The event’s website boasts that “guests will gather in the magnificent surroundings of New College to enjoy a night of fabulous food, drinks and entertainment”, and that the ball is one with a “reputation of unparalleled excellence”. However, after the decision by the college this week, the Ball Committee was this week forced to admit that this reputation may be about to take a hit.
Ross Thompson, President of the Ball Committee, commented: “I am […] unsure why the College has decided to impose such a cap on ticket numbers, and why it waited until the end of Michaelmas Term before sharing its decision.
“An enormous amount of work has gone into the planning of the Ball thus far, and it is shaping up to be a thoroughly enjoyable event. I think it would be a great pity to let an unnecessary disagreement put a stop to an event which so many people are looking forward to.”
In an email to the JCR, he continued, “Although I hope […] a solution can be found, I am not completely certain it will be, and I feel that it is only right to inform you all of the situation in which we find ourselves.”
Despite confusion over the ball’s feasibility, members of the JCR have remained sympathetic to the efforts of the Ball Committee, with Eleanor Davidson, JCR president, declaring that “Ross is an incredible Ball President.”
However, some have raised questions over the wisdom of holding a ball during such significant building works at the college. Hannibal Meath Baker, English fresher at New, commented that “the threat of complete cancellation is of course concerning – but no more so than the prospect of paying £170 for a significantly limited ball.”
Since going to press, Ross Thompson, New College Ball President, commented: “New College have advised me that they no longer have objections to the Ball Committee’s plans. Therefore the event will be going ahead as planned, and the issues discussed below are dealt with.”
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