DRA Ball, typically the largest of the hall balls with a huge budget, took place last weekend on Lower College Lawn, bringing the first of the more typical black-tie events for second semester. With free sweets upon entry and huge resident/non-resident ticket sales, anticipation built for a party that famously (verging on infamously) promises good music and good times. The tent was decorated almost as if you were looking through a blue Pablo, and the Atlantis-esque theme with Grecian statues proved understated decoration – after all, you never want to go too overboard on a zany theme for a standard black-tie ball.

Large throngs of crowds passed through to the marquee on Lower College Lawn, though gravitation towards the musical acts meant that the back end of the tent proved sparse. DRA Ball always manages to bring more of a party feel to a ball, but this year’s iteration seemed to stray slightly further from the ball aesthetic with the crowd pressed up to the speakers, revelling in the music. The DJ act – James Hype – successfully lit up the room with music that everyone enjoyed, rather than the occasionally partisan reliance that some balls have on techno music. Unfortunately, there wasn’t a particularly wide variety of food options, provided by Blackhorn and the Cheese Toastie Shack, a circumstance made worse by recent scathing reviews of the latter – with one customer saying that they saw the server lick cheese off their fingers before continuing to serve.

The queues for bathrooms and bars weren’t as bad as at other events, but the state of the indoor bathrooms left much to be desired. Stick-on tattoos, ice cream, and sweets provided a fun personality for the ball, though there was some confusion over the drink tokens. There was also limited seating, especially for a ball this size, and this year the wow factor seemed to be missing, unlike some other balls. However, with the ticket price making this one of the cheapest balls, especially for DRA residents, this was the perfect alternative to a standard night out, and though not as successful as events such as Hot Dub, overall, it was a good night.

Photos courtesy of Josh Horan Media for Owl Eyes.