Ticket slump for Christmas balls despite colleges pulling out the stops

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College Christmas balls have seen a decrease in sales across campus this year despite more luxurious venues, increased value for money and continued positive feedback.

County College began selling tickets for their Winterball, held in the glamorous Blackpool Tower ballroom, during Freshers’ Week in the hope of encouraging more students to attend. Nonetheless they were unable to match last year’s sales, which ex-college President, Chloe Themistocleous put down to the timing. “Perhaps [it] was a little too early and overwhelming therefore people did not feel the need to snap them up,” she said.

Similarly, Grizedale’s ticket sales were down for the third year in a row with only 165 sold despite the venue being closer to the University, distance having been a criticism of the previous ball.

Bowland and Fylde also suffered from disappointing sales, which have been attributed to a rise in ticket prices and a lack of disposable income from students. “I think the fact that many first years in Bowland are still awaiting their loans has meant a decreased demand from freshers compared to normal,” commented ex-President of Bowland Tom Skarbek-Wazynski.

The rise of ticket prices prevalent across campus was seen as another leading cause of the diminishing sales. Lonsdale’s Co-President Katie Kitney said: “We sold 92% of the available tickets and I think the reason we didn’t sell out was because of the ticket price – understandably, [it] was a lot to ask people to pay, especially towards the end of term.”

Cartmel was one of the most successful colleges when it came to Winterball sales and still had difficulty clearing tickets. Robbie Pickles, ex-Cartmel President, pointed out that “a lot of people this year chose to go to a Christmas ball with a society which may have caused a lower turnout campus-wide.” This view was echoed by Grizedale’s ex-President, Chaz Ginn, who said: “The lower sales may be in part due to faculties having balls or meals which students pay for so maybe they don’t want to pay for both or perhaps they clash.”

Nevertheless, colleges seemed to pull out all the stops this year with County boasting a champagne reception, Fylde having exclusive use of a nightclub with DJ, casino and a chocolate fountain and Lonsdale including a jazz quartet to perform during dinner followed by a DJ set by Simba.

“The venue added a real sense of glamour. I simply cannot fault the Tower’s service,” said Themistocleous. “Everyone I have spoken to said it was a fantastic night.”

The increase of value was illustrated by Fylde’s ex-Ed and Welfare officer, Lisa McNamara who commented: “I really enjoyed it [and] think we got a lot for our money.”

Feedback from other colleges has also been positive; some Grizedale students said their ball had “the best quality food and nicest venue” they had been to. Second year Lonsdalian Stephanie Paul said: “A lot of credit needs to go to the JCR as they put together a great night. Music was fabulous, food was excellent and there was such a good atmosphere.”

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