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Hog Roast Burns and No Booze: Oxford's May Ball Ends in Disaster


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Initially billed as a night of 'decadence, debauchery and indulgence,' Oxford University's ambitious plans caused controversey early when it emerged that they included hosting a live shark in a tank at Somerville and Jesus Colleges' May Ball.

But instead of a night to rival Gatsby's, the Last Ball resulted in frustrated, injured students.

The Ball was arranged by the two colleges and charged up to £150 per ticket, with around 1,000 attendees. 

Students who attended, however, called the event a 'catastrophe.' The Tab Oxford described the evening as an 'omnishambles,' and summed it up very succinctly: "Huge queues, crap drinks, rubbish entertainment, and aggressive letters from the president to gate crashers. We went to the Last Ball so you didn't have to."

A Facebook page was set up so that students could publically air their complaints. However, it now seems to have been removed.

The catering at the ball was criticised, with what was described as a "violent scrum" for food and an hour's queue for the hog roast. Vegetarians were left with only lettuce filled pitta bread and cupcakes, according to the Tab Cambridge, and by 1am the only alcohol left was rum - which had also gone three hours later. 

Images have also been published that show dresses with huge burn holes from the unsafe hog roast. 

One female student described how she was prevented from going to bed by security guards on the Ball's Facebook page. 

She wrote: "I'm a Somerville student and felt ill at about 2am on the night of the ball. Being cold, hungry and having drunk a fair bit I asked to be allowed to go to bed. I spoke to security and a member of the ball committee and when I wasn't allowed to go to bed I burst into tears and explained that I was feeling ill and suffer from depression."

In terms of entertainment, certain acts, including Clean Bandit, failed to show. Other elements were also criticised. One ball-goer described the indoor maze as "disappointingly short" claiming it only lasted "three minutes."

Despite the horrific outcome, the Ball Committee claim that they were nothing but "well-intentioned, attempting to offer something unique and exciting." Seemingly, their ambitious plans ended in massive disaster.


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