Attending a June Event as a "graduated adult" was always going to be a strange experience.
I hadn't endured the academic rollercoaster that is three terms at Cambridge; I hadn't spent ten weeks in library lockdown preparing to run the Tripos gauntlet; (That said, the exam nightmares do continue long after you've graduated, trust me) and I hadn't committed to a full week of decadence. I took a day and a half off work, and life would continue as normal when I arrived back in London.
In short, I wondered whether I'd have as much fun as I had in previous May Weeks, and thankfully, Tit Hall did not disappoint.
Commitment to the theme was strong. As the queue slowly inched towards the gates, two "Stop the Bomb" protesters suddenly appeared in front of us with a performance convincing enough for a few of my group to actually question whether they were part of the Event. This and the cupcakes served along the queue were almost enough to make up for the lengthy wait, which involved two and a half hours of wondering whether the distinctly grey skies would dampen our evening.
Once inside, we were treated to shots upon arrival, and we quickly scouted the grounds to get a feel for the layout. Vibrant banners and flags adorning the "Woodstock" court set the Event apart from your average May Ball, and it was here and in the "Strawberry Fields Forever" area that the theme shone through brightest. A colourful teepee made from balloons looked spectacular as the sun went down and the lights went up, even if it was out of bounds.
The selection of drinks on offer was absolutely incredible, and I really felt spoilt for choice. The usual spirit/mixers never showed any signs of running out, the cocktails were delightful, and the range of drinks served in the basement bar was staggering. With the exception of the cocktails, the committee did a great job of ensuring that guests never spent more than a minute queueing for drinks, which is definitely the most common #FirstWorldProblem throughout May Week. While we're talking about drinks, I might as well mention that the G&Ts were incredibly strong, and were a strong contender for the title of "Biggest Reason James was hungover on Thursday morning". The struggle was real.
As usual, the queues for food were long to begin with, but quickly died down around 11pm, and the selection was fantastic. The burgers were, quite frankly, just damn good burgers, the brownies and ice cream were fantastic, and the wraps were exactly what the doctor ordered around 1am. (even the veggie ones!) No complaints here.
N.B. I normally have very little to complain about during May Week, but as a reviewer, it's my job to sound like a picky, spoilt brat.
Ents were fantastic. Though I missed the majority of their set, I have it on good authority that the Correspondents were "amaze" and that the frontman's dancing was incredible. (Where "good authority" = a series of drunk texts from an excited Tit Baller) Annie Mac had the main stage abolutely bouncing, and seemed to be having a whale of a time herself. The main stage was a fantastic size, which meant that there was plenty of space to dance badly to "The Dung Beatles" in the early hours of the morning.
All in all, the event was a blast from start to finish, with my only real gripes being the initial queue, and the queue for the toilets (I honestly contemplated peeing in a sink at one point), but these things are inevitable. The committee did a stellar job of setting this apart from any May Week event I'd been to before, and the vibe was one of chilled out jubilance. The dress code eliminated any chance of pretence, the setting was beautiful, and there was none of the champagne-and-oysters-induced guilt that you might expect from the likes of Trinity or John's.
I missed the June Event last year when a lot of my College friends went to it, so naturally wondered whether this year would live up to the hype. It absolutely did, and with a track record like this, Trinity Hall June Event 2016 should be very special indeed.
Value for Money: 4/5
One of May Week's cheapest yet most celebrated events. The 3am finish felt slightly too early, but otherwise this was money very well spent.
Overall quality was fantastic, and while I personally thought that a DJ headline slot was maybe a little lacking, I still enjoyed everything I heard.
Food and Drink: 5/5
Everything was so, so tasty, and the drinks never ran out. What more could you want?
I didn't get in until 10pm and was turfed out at 3am, but this didn't stop me having one of the best evenings of my year so far.
All photo credit to Connie Goring-Morris Photography