Lancaster University Students’ Union have cancelled Grad Ball today, due to disappointing ticket sales.
This will be the first time in decades that the annual event will not go ahead.
There was controversy over the decision to host the Ball in the Great Hall, as the event had been held at Blackpool Tower in previous years. The Union cited transport costs as the reason, as well as a desire to keep the costs involved in hiring the location to a minimum.
A planned line-up included Scouting for Girls, DJ Reggie Yates and Wretch 32. It has faced criticism from potential attendees on social media, who branded the line-up “washed-out”.
One difficulty the Ball faced was existence of a rival Ball, set up by students with the intention of hosting an event in Blackpool. The rival ball has been selling tickets for the 22nd of June, though it is yet to announce a line-up.
The Students’ Union, who were responsible for organising the event, said in a statement: “ticket sales have not met the level that we need to be sure of a high-quality, enjoyable and financially viable event. Everyone who has bought a ticket will be given a full refund.”
One student who bought tickets said: “I am really annoyed at the cancellation of the grad ball as this was something which was going to end my three years of an undergrad degree with my friends and course mates”.
Others Tweeted about the news:
As if Grad ball has been cancelled
— jomes (@__jameshoward) May 16, 2018
When I said yesterday does third year want to throw any more curveballs I didn't mean it literally Lancaster 🙂🙂 No founders or grad ball wowza in for a great end of uni guys ‼️‼️‼️
— luce (@LucyMaeCarr) May 16, 2018
Grad ball got cancelled hahahahaha
— sarah🌈 (@justsarahp) May 16, 2018
If you then you don’t
don’t love deserve
me at my me at my pic.twitter.com/d9BHV32DDs
— Anna Kettle (@annajkettle) May 16, 2018
A group of students set up an alternative event, known as Lancaster Ball. The event is to be held in Blackpool with a cheaper ticket price than the planned Grad Ball cost. One of the 3 organisers, Zayaan Bawany, told SCAN: “We never intended to compete directly with LUSU. This event had the intention merely to take on the opinions of students that we have heard and create an alternative option for students who want to celebrate their year in a different way.”
“We are more than happy to accommodate any students with our event, they do not have to be final years but we do have limited tickets available, so get yours while you can! Look forward to seeing you all there for an amazing night at the Lancaster Ball 2018!”
The Students’ Union’s full statement is below:
“We’re sad to announce that we’ve taken the difficult decision to cancel this year’s Grad Ball. We reached this decision because ticket sales have not met the level that we need to be sure of a high-quality, enjoyable and financially viable event. Everyone who has bought a ticket will be given a full refund.
Grad Ball was traditionally held on campus but has taken place at Blackpool Tower for the last few years. Ticket sales have been falling annually for the last three years and last year we made a loss on the event. We decided to bring the event back to campus this year in the hope that taking away the inconvenience and additional expense of travelling to Blackpool would make attending Grad Ball a more attractive proposition.
Disappointing ticket sales for this year’s event have revealed we got that wrong, which is why we’ve reluctantly decided to cancel. The union will lose money by cancelling the event at this point, but not as much as we would lose if it were to go ahead.
We’re exploring whether we can find alternative ways of staging the acts that were due to perform – further announcements will be made on this soon. It’s become clear that the union is unable to provide the kind of Grad Ball that you want with the resources available to us, so we are suspending this event for the foreseeable future.
We’re sorry for any disappointment this decision will cause, but we hope you’ll still enjoy a fantastic end to the term at our college Extrav events and the numerous other end-of-year celebrations that will be happening across the university. We’re holding a drop-in session in the students’ union from 3.30pm to 5pm tomorrow (Thursday) if you have any questions you’d like to ask a member of staff.”
This is a developing story.