Grad Ball to be held in Motorcycle Museum

The Boar can exclusively reveal that this year’s Graduation Ball will be held in the National Motorcycle Museum in Birmingham.

The Union will rent three of the upstairs rooms and most of the downstairs area in the building for the Ball, to hold 1,200 people. The Ball will have a 1920s Art Deco theme, and one of the rooms will represent the seedier underside of that decade.

The Union is unable to release further information about the entertainment or food at the Graduation Ball because they are still waiting to finalise contracts. The only entertainment formally confirmed is a party of Charleston dancers.

Full information about the Ball will be announced on the 12th of April. Steve Russell, Commercial Operations Manager for the Students’ Union, said: “We’re not deliberately being evasive, we’re just trying to tie stuff down before we announce it.

“I understand the need for information from student body… There is a large pool of people working really hard [on this].”

The Union have released a breakdown of the costs of the events. Almost half of the ticket price of the Graduation Ball will be put towards the cost of the five-course meal, with the costs of transport and artists the next biggest expenditures.

But the slow drip of information and the announcement of the total £100 price tag for the Graduation Ball and the Summer Party, with the Graduation Ball priced at £65, has generated anger amongst many finalists.

A Facebook group called ‘£65 for Graduation Ball 2010?!’ was set up by Kinjal Tanna and acquired over 100 members within 24 hours.

Tanna explained the motivation behind the group: “The main point of the group being set up was to elicit some support that a £65 ticket without explanation of what is in said ticket, seems to be a bit crazy.”

Jen Strutt, a final-year Psychology student, said: “Most people won’t want to pay for both the summer party and grad ball, but most people would like aspects of both events – the Union is basically forcing some people to choose.”

“It’s not just the cost of the ticket, but the cost of a dress or hiring a tux”, she added.

Alex Twiss, Sports Officer for the Students’ Union, maintained the price of the Ball would be merited: “We had hesitations. We have all the worries you have, we’re as close to students as possible, but we are going to justify the ticket price.”

Twiss voiced his regret that more information could not be released. He said: “We have wanted to tell you, but we want to let you know when we know what’s going on, not when things are up in the air”.

Isaac Acquah, Communications Officer for the Students’ Union, said the Graduation Ball would stand out: “Usually at society balls, you go and have a meal, between the meal and dessert you have one performance, then a disco afterwards.

“We’re trying to give you so much more, there will be constant entertainment all around you.”

The Union will also announce the full line-up for the Summer Party, an outdoor festival with bands and various other forms of entertainment on the 12th of April.

The Summer Party will be held on campus with two full line-ups and three stages. The exact location is undecided as the Union are still negotiating with the University, but they have selected a preferred site on Main Campus.

The Union have also had problems with live acts pulling out from the Summer Party. They have secured acts lower down the order for the Main Stage, but are still waiting for the proposed headliners to confirm.

Twiss said: “I genuinely wish I was still a student and probably didn’t have to work [at the Summer Party] so I could kick back all day, drink, watch the football and listen to good music.”

Acquah assured students that the bands coming would be worth the wait: “Its not just Joe Smith from Leamington.”

In the past, Final Fling was held at Coombe Abbey, but Birmingham SU pulled out of the traditional shared arrangement this year, making it financially unfeasible to hold the event there. Six Days of Summer is the proposed replacement event for this year’s finalists.

### Price Breakdown

#### Grad Ball

– **Artistes**: 16%
– **Production**: 6%
– **Transport**: 13%
– **Staffing**: 4%
– **Marketing**: 4%
– **Décor**: 8%
– **Meal**: 48%

#### Summer Party

– **Artistes**: 52%
– **Structures**: 11%
– **Site infrastructure**: 9%
– **Trucking**: 1%
– **Fairground**: 6%
– **Staffing**: 6%
– **Production**: 8%
– **Marketing**: 3%
– **Décor**: 3%


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