An Ents report on the organisation of Trinity Ball (T-Ball) has recommended a return to in-person ticket sales in future to eliminate online processing fees associated with services such as Ticketmaster.
As well as “making tickets more affordable”, the report adds that in-person sales “ensures immediate ticket access, removing the risk of potential online glitches or delays which have been experienced consistently”.
In March, many students reported experiencing technical difficulties when attempting to purchase tickets for T-Ball, including being unable to access the Ticketmaster page while using College wifi.
The report continues: “In terms of accessibility, in-person sales provide an alternative method for ticket purchase, catering to those who may not have access to reliable internet or face difficulties with online platforms.”
In 2020, T-Ball tickets were sold both online and in person.
“While proper planning would need to be in place for this to occur, Trinity Ball can address challenges associated with online platforms, enhance affordability, inclusivity, and create a more engaging and interactive ticketing experience overall.”
The report, based on a survey of 906 people, equivalent to around 15% of attendees, was compiled by Adam Ó Ceallaigh, secretary of Trinity Ents for 2023/24.
Speaking to Trinity News, Ó Ceallaigh said: “The recommendation ties in with the overall message of the review, that there needs to be a reconsideration of how the event is organised. The logistics of this is something that needs to be properly sat down and thought about.”
“As with all recommendations it’s something that needs to happen early, giving ample time to consider all aspects. If it’s found that a recommendation would not work, that is okay, as long as there is time for other plans to be examined.”
Over 60% of those surveyed indicated that they were satisfied or very satisfied with the new Ticketmaster ticketing service. 20.7% said they were unsatisfied or very unsatisfied with the new service, while 17.3% were neutral in their response.
The survey was targeted towards attendees of the ball, resulting in it being skewed towards those who were successful in getting tickets, and therefore satisfaction levels may be unrepresentative of the entire student population.
The report specifically recommends moving away from Ticketmaster, noting that it “does not have a respected reputation in the event industry and has been known for charging extortionate fees to attendees and also to organisers”.
Improving crowd control measures
Another key issue addressed in the report is crowd control. Over half of respondents were dissatisfied, with 29.5% overall being very dissatisfied. Less than 10% of respondents said they were very satisfied with crowd control.
According to the report, attendees found the ineffective crowd control “concerning and dangerous”, and raised concerns about the potential for accidents or injuries in such an environment. It notes that crowd crushes led to multiple interruptions of the headline performance by Two Door Cinema Club, who repeatedly appealed to the crowd to combat crushes.
It makes a number of recommendations to improve crowd safety, including enhancing the role of the security team who should actively monitor and intervene in dangerous situations, and implementing clear signage, particularly regarding navigation between stage areas and entry and exit points around the venue.
“This is a serious issue that has occurred at Trinity Ball for two years in a row now,” the report notes, recalling the situation at Tinie Tempah’s performance in 2022. “This cannot continue.”
Stating that the safety of attendees “needs to be prioritised above all else”, the report notes that crowd crushes “led to numerous injuries of varying severity” this year, adding that if crowd control measures do not improve, “there is the potential for a fatality”.