The Students’ Union came under fire (http://scan.lusu.co.uk/index.php/2018/04/24/a-glorified-school-disco-plans-to-move-grad-ball-to-the-great-hall-fall-flat-among-students/) after it announced the line-up and venue for this year’s Grad Ball. Students are deeply unhappy that the event is moving from Blackpool Tower to the Great Hall (where the majority of Grad Balls were held until 2012), and with the perceived ‘cheap’ quality of the acts on offer for £55. It has been slammed as a ‘glorified school disco’ as though it were an insult, rather than exactly what Grad Ball has always been.
We are reminded of the last time (http://scan.lusu.co.uk/index.php/2015/04/30/students-priced-out-of-grad-ball/) the student body erupted in fury over the SU’s plans for Grad Ball. In 2015, students were deeply unhappy with the ticket prices (£59), and sent numerous abusive messages to officers and staff complaining that LUSU didn’t keep costs down by… booking cheaper acts and moving the event to the Great Hall!
What do they want? Jam on it?
GRADBALLS TO THE WALL
It’s not just the backlash to this year’s Grad Ball that reminds us of the uproar in 2015. Much like in 2015, a small number of enterprising students have decided to put on an alternative event, ‘by the people, and for the people.’
The effort three years ago quickly fell apart like a clown’s car when nobody knew who was arranging it, announcements and venues were promised and passed us by, and none of the ‘organisers’ could explain how it was going to be funded. The students quickly lost faith in the project when they began to suspect that the organisers were just a bunch of slipshod hucksters after their money. The valiant heart of the rebel uprising sunk shortly thereafter.
This year’s effort is a slightly more sophisticated one. The organisers are known (and popular on campus), they have a venue (Viva Blackpool, ‘one of the most prestigious event venues in the North.’ Apparently.), and the organisers have connections to ‘TABUKI’, a ‘well-established house music brand based in Lancaster.’
What they don’t have, however, is any guarantee that the event will go ahead. It’s a ‘speculate to accumulate’ affair, and if there aren’t enough tickets sold to cover the costs of the venue and the acts, it’s refunds all round and no harm done. But if it does work out, it’d rely on students getting tickets without knowing what they’re going to get. If enough people duly fork out for their early bird ticket, how many are going to demand a refund when they find out that they’ve paid for a front row seat to see P.J. Proby, the KPM All-Stars, and a Pat Boone tribute artist? [What’s wrong with that? Sounds like a cracking night – Ed.]
The subtext collective is mildly cynical, but we hope that both this and the official Grad Ball are a success.