Ballin’ in Trinity

From Apollo Ball to Swing Ball: an overview of the biggest society balls on campus

Whether it’s your first year in Trinity or your last, you’re certain to have realised that this college has a penchant for formality. Any excuse to don a tuxedo or a sequined gown and pretend they’re at the Met Gala is seized wholeheartedly by Trinity students. What better way to come up with such an excuse than to attend a society ball? Over the top but highly entertaining, these extravagant parties are the crown jewel of society events.

Mathsoc and Physoc will co-host their third annual Maths-Phys Ball on October 17 in the Russell Court Hotel. For the neat price of €25, there will be a formal dinner and some mathematical puzzles to keep your brain sharp after you’ve had one too many vodkas. The Law Society’s first and most mysterious ball of the year, Masquerave, is also held in October. Each year, they disappear off to a countryside castle, in Venetian style masks, for one of the biggest and most exciting parties of the year. On October 30, this year’s Charity Ball, which in previous years has been hosted jointly by SUAS, FLAC, VDP, S2S, Volunteer Tuition Programme and DU Amnesty, will be held. The theme this year is the Rocky Horror Show and should prove to be a fun-filled evening.

After last year’s eventful evening, Law Soc have decided to replace Christmas at Carton with an old classic, the Swing Ball. Their penultimate ball of the year is set to take place in the Shelbourne Hotel in November, with afters in Lillie’s Bordello. The Phil will be hosting their annual Phil Ball in the New Year and it’s promised to be an event full of “celebrity, high society, and gothic mystery”. As usual, the reception for the event will take place in the GMB with a full bar, live band, and a DJ on the Chamber balcony, before the night moves on to an exclusive Dublin venue.

In February, the Engineering Society will host their long running annual Engineering Ball. Hard hats and high-visibility vests were all the rave at last year’s event but in other years the society has had a wide variety of themes such as the circus and casino night, so it’ll be interesting to see what they come up with this year. At the same time, Lawsoc are hosting their third ball of the year, the Maples Law Ball. In true boujee fashion, the black-tie event will feature a three-course meal and live music. As always, it will probably prove to be one of the most glamorous events of the year.

Arguably the biggest society event of the year, BESS Ball, takes place in February, the most popular month for society balls. Organised by DU Business and Entrepreneurial Society (DUBES), the event had over 600 attendees last year, included a three-course meal, and featured electronic dance duo, Le Boom. This year the society hopes to attract an international act to perform at the ball and is dabbling with the idea of a love theme for the event.

Med Ball, organised by Biosoc, continues the ball season, as it usually takes place around the same time. Last year, the event was hosted in the luxurious Royal Marine Hotel and included a performance from the Booka Brass Band followed by an exclusive after party. An incredibly exciting ball, with a twist, is the Society for International Affairs (SOFIA) Ambassadors Ball. At this event, you’ll get to dine on a three-course meal sitting next to an ambassador from one of many countries, which is sure to make for a unique and memorable experience. DU Pharmaceutical Student Association will also be having a three-course meal at their ball, accompanied by live music. There’ll be a photo booth, pharmacy themed gifts to take home, and to round it all off, an awards ceremony for their members.

The Geography Society will be hosting their Earth Ball in March and it’s rumoured that this year the theme will be “flat earth”. Geogsoc pride themselves in hosting what is normally “the cheapest ball on campus” which is why it tends to be so popular for geography and non-geography students alike. Neuroscience Society are also having their ball in March, with free finger food and drinks in one of Dublin’s premier clubs all for the low price of €15. Lastly, is DU History’s famous Apollo Ball, which each year has a set historical theme. Last year’s theme was White Star Line, the famous shipping company which created the luxurious cruise ships, Titanic and Olympic. The event is usually hosted somewhere quite creative, with previous balls being held in EPIC: The Irish Emigration Museum and Christchurch Crypt.

Whatever you’re interested in, the odds are there is a society out there that’s hosting a ball for you. They are a staple of Trinity’s societies, both big and small, and this quaint tradition of dressing up in stiff, formal wear for what appears to be another night in a club, shows no signs of losing its appeal.

Seamus Small

Seamus Small is the current Assistant Societies Editor of Trinity News. He is a Senior Fresh Law and Politics student.