Summer is (better: should) be here. This is (should) be the perfect time for garden partys and balls in Oxford. My college had a ball in February and it was good fun already back then. However, the fact that you can actually use the college quads during this season to socialise, dance and eat makes it even more fun. Photos here are taken from the wonderful Balliol MCR Garden Party last weekend.
The dresscode is usually “Black Tie”, although sometimes only “smart casual”. For the really fancy balls, everyone even wears “White Tie”, that is with a (mostly hired I think) tailcoat including white gloves and bowler hat. It basically feels like you are thrown back into the 1920s (<= note how I am avoiding the “Downton Abbey” analogy here).
Balls are usually quite expensive, ranging between 90 and up to 200 pounds. However, you are given unlimited food and drinks. Every ball and garden party has a photo booth, that’s a classic. Others offer laser tag and other fun stuff like for example auto scooters. Obviously, a number of dancefloors, live bands and “silent disco” are essential to a great ball as well.
Silent Disco, everyone dancing to their own choice of music (indicated by the colour of the headphones here)
Quite emblematic of the sheer limitless creativity of ball committees (and competitiveness concerning other balls) is be the example of Sommerville College. Aiming at delivering a night of ‘decadence, debauchery and indulgence’, the ball committee initially sought to get a shark in a bowl until their principal stepped in.