The Peterhouse Ball is quite unique as it is on the only white tie ball in Cambridge. I couldn’t wait to get all dressed up and I was even more excited to see Ben looking dapper as always in a tux! The women strolled in wearing long evening gowns and the men wore tuxes, white gloves, and some even donned top hats and canes! At one point in the early morning I asked a fairly drunken young man if I could borrow his hat for a photo. He smiled and obligingly handed over his hat to me. After a few photos I handed it back and said thank you, to which he bowed and tipped his hat! So funny!
The ball was stunning. We broke up the ball into several areas and it was amazing to walk through. Guests entered through the gates to the Deer Park which is attached to the college. This area had the main stage and a huge dance floor as most of our big acts went there. This stage featured Cocknbull Kid, Urban Myth Club, and Jakwob just to name a few. The highlight for me in this tent was the Abba tribute band that we had toward the end of the ball. I am not a particularly big Abba fan, but I couldn’t help but sing along to classics like Dancing Queen! The band was amazing and the place was packed. Ben’s sister Rachel and her husband Alex were hired as photographers for the ball, and this was one point where we all met up and danced and sang along together. It was so much fun! As the sun came up at the end we headed out to the rest of the park.
Outisde the main stage was the fair area where we had our largest attraction, a ferris wheel. The Peterhouse Ball is known for having a ferris wheel and this year was no exception. In this area there were lots of food tents, bars, and an outdoor stage that featured magicians, escapologists and my favorite, brass bands. We also had wandering magicians and beautifully dressed stilt walkers. We had three different brass bands play throughout the night and these got more people dancing in this area than anything else.
My favorite band was the Brass Funkeys who at one point jumped off the stage and played right in the middle of the crowd. The danced and sang and even got on the ground and played while lying down. The crowd went absolutely nuts! As the sun was coming up and the other stages were coming to a close, the deer park filled up with people who were making their way to Old Court for the survivors photo. The last brass band was finishing their set and the students went crazy. They were dancing everywhere, getting on each other’s shoulders, giving piggyback rides, and running around with toilet paper rolls streaming behind them. Some students were even wrapping each other up in toilet paper. It was one of the funniest sites of the whole night. You start off all posh and refined in the beginning of the ball and by the end you’ve got toilet paper mummies. Granted, most students were beyond intoxicated, but it was funny to watch nonetheless.
Also in the deer park was a tent that featured a few comedians and the sounds of Motown, jazz, and barbershop quartets. This tent was filled to the brim all night as it had a huge bar, plush sofas, and large wing back chairs. Across the way from this tent was an acoustic stage that was set up in front of an elaborate dining area that looked like a classy teepee. There was an area which we called the Gardens of Arabia, which had smaller tents, large rugs and cushy pillows that all centered around a few shisha pipes. Probably one of my favorite areas was Gisborne Court which was described as “a tour through the dark, delicious mysteries of the Orient.” This tent was centered around a tree that we had lit up and had chinese lanterns hanging from it There were low tables all around and we had tons of throw pillows for lounging about. There was sushi, sake, tea, portrait artists, and geishas. It was a beautiful area that was very relaxing.
The next area was the college bar where we had a casino running all night. Students seemed to love this as they didn’t have to lose any of their own money as it was all just for fun! We also had a powder room for the ladies. This included a seamstress, massages, and makeup artists from Bare Minerals. One of the smallest areas of the ball was in the dining hall which we turned into a funky silent disco. Students put their headphones on and danced around which was hilarious to watch as a bystander who couldn’t hear anything.
The other main area of the ball was Old Court which was called the Mirrored Court. It had huge full length mirrors that were gilded in gold and hung from the tent. There were punts filled with champagne, shrimp, and other cocktails. When I was dancing in this area, I felt as though I had been transported back in time. It was so beautiful and just so sophisticated. The stage in this area featured big bands and classical music. There were waltzes and even lessons to go along with it. The main event in this area was the image mapping show that took place on the front of the chapel. At one point the chapel looked like it was ablaze. It was incredible!
I don’t think I have ever been to an event like this. There was entertainment at every point in the evening and with six stages, you were never bored. You could dance the night away, laugh til you cried in the comedians tent, be amazed by escapologists, drink any kind of beverage you could dream of (or in my case…as many hot chocolates and cokes as I wanted!), gamble til the wee hours, or view the sun rise over the trees from the top of a ferris wheel. Though Ben and I had to work throughout the ball, it didn’t keep us from enjoying the night and all it had to offer. I loved dancing to so many different kinds of music, eating tasty sugar covered donuts, and hearing the sounds of the ball from the atop the ferris wheel.