Summer Ball: The Good, the Bad and the Interesting

ANOTHER year, another successful Summer Ball. This year’s was a definite mixed bag, but more on the positives. The weather didn’t help at all, but overall, it was an awesome night. If you missed it, here’s a breakdown to get you hyped for next year’s, or, if you did go, a reminder of what happened.

Photo - Alex Tanton

Photo – Alex Tanton

The Good:

  • Black House returns with a bang, with an absolutely funky stage, littered with neon and oozing with hype. Headlined by So Solid Crew, our friends over at SWING CITY, Fraktal and Rawkus, alongside Ed Solo and JFB, smashed the Union’s main stage throughout the night.
  • Over at the Cwtch stage, the live acts were no slouch either. Notable acts include Emma Swindells, who provided a beautiful acoustic set, and Noughts & Crosses, who managed to fill out the Cwtch Bar with their simple, energetic covers of favourites, kept up the crowd’s energy through the night, even letting a lucky gal join them onstage.
  • And last but not least, the Main Stage over at the Arts Centre lived up to the hype, with Example clearing out the rest of the Ball as soon as he hit the stage. And boy, did he live up to the hype. Absolutely pumped up set.
  • Honourable Mentions go to the Vegas Casino, which was a wonderful addition to the Ball. From the Prosecco everywhere, to the slot machines to the roulette, it added a touch of warm glitz to what was a rainy Ball. Also to the Arts Centre dancefloor, which played amazing cheese throughout the night, a much needed break from the Main Hall and the Union. If they keep that going as a monthly gig, we might have a new crowd favourite on our hands.

The Bad:

  • The catering choice was quite limited, only to the usual burgers, hot dogs, and pizza over at the Underground, plus a few stalls over at the fun fair that served sweets. Kudos to the team – the food was decent, but a little variety would go a long way.
  • While we’re on the subject, the Funfair. While the rides are the tried-and-tested favourites, one can’t help but feel like the whole thing is empty, with three rides including the Terminator (the bench thing). Dodgems would definitely be a plus here.
  • The wine bar vanished! Quite understandable, since it was halfway replaced by the Vegas tent, the cocktail bar over at the Arts Centre and the Indoor Beach over at the Picture House. But having a dedicated wine bar over the wooden terrace of the Arts Centre, or even in the Vegas tent, would have been a wonderfully classy touch.
  • Speaking of which, the Indoor beach was quite lacklustre, with a lot of people genuinely missing out on it because it was such a simple setup: a tropical bar in the Picture House.
Photo - Alex Tanton

Example performing in the Arts Centre. Photo – Alex Tanton

The Interesting:

  • Fun fact: there was indeed a Roaming Magician in the building named Ted. He mostly did card tricks, but his main sell is his charm, of which he had tons to spare.
  • The Katy Perry Tribute was, according to a lot of the partygoers, a mixed bag. Composed of the singer plus two dancers, the act definitely had the vibe spot-on, however her singing apparently needed some fine-tuning. Personally, she took those well-known hits and made it her own, which is more than what can be said for most tribute acts. Overall, a wonderful starter to what was a smorgasbord of hype and talent.
  • Y Reu, one of the Welsh live bands, definitely had the talent, but personally, they needed a bit more of that Welsh charm to carry them through their set. One to watch out for, though.
  • And there we have it, a quick breakdown of the Summer Ball 2015. Overall, it was a pretty good night. Had its ups and downs, definitely, but it was a fun night. Definitely sets the bar for next year’s Ball.