Cambridge University students stumble home after celebrating May Ball

At least there are no lectures in the morning: Cambridge University students stumble home at dawn after boozy night out celebrating the end of their exams at their first May Ball for three years

  • Hundreds of students attended the lavish bash at Trinity College’s ball last night, costing £330 a ticket
  • They turned out in dinner jackets and cocktail dresses in accordance with the May Ball’s strict dress code
  • It is the first time in three years the ball has been held, with events in 2020 and 2021 cancelled due to Covid 

Cambridge University students grinned as they made their way home after donning their best frocks and tuxedos to celebrate the end of their exams with their first May Ball for three years.

Hundreds of young men and women soaked up the sunshine as they headed away from the party on Tuesday morning, wearing cocktail dresses for one of the most highly regarded events of the social calendar.

Guests paid at least £330 for the double ticket to Mondays event, and were promised ‘unlimited food and drink’ and had a fireworks display to look forward to.

Organisers of the ball, at Trinity College, also bragged that they had put on ‘Cambridge’s best ball’, describing the event as a ‘unrivalled showcase of revelry’.

Excited Cambridge University students packed the streets fro the highly anticipated Trinity College ball. It is the first time they have been able to attend in three years because of the pandemic, but they wasted no time in letting their hair down

Hundreds of partygoers enjoyed a stunning fireworks display to mark the end of their exam season. Organisers of the ball claimed that they would put on a ‘unrivalled showcase of revelry’ with DJ’s and a lavish dinner

Students dressed up in their finest livery for the event, with men looking dashing in dinner jackets and ladies looking stunning in cocktail dresses. But they were warned to don comfortable shoes so they could dance the night away, with one girl choosing to go for slivers with her long party dress – holding her heels as she made her way home

The lavish bash included tiny pods for students to get some privacy and just chat to friends, as well as a huge stage and gaebo area for dancing the night away

Some partygoers had to rely on their friends to get them home safely, after paying £330 for the double event at Trinity College in Cambridge University. One dapper student kindly carried a pal to save her feet as she clutched onto a rose from the bash

Hundreds of students packed out Trinity College for the hotly anticipated party, and sat down at 7.30pm to enjoy the five course meal included with their ticket on Monday night

Several students looked for a way home after stumbling out of the party at dawn and wandering around the streets of Cambridge 

One girl gave up on her fancy footwear from the night before as she padded home in bare feet supported by a friend in a tuxedo

They promised ‘a stunning fireworks display, and a myriad of entertainments from chart-topping stars to world-class comedians to the finest classical and jazz musicians.’

Priya Ragu and her band performed for the students at the ball, and were supported by up and coming DJs Emily Nash and Anish Kumar who both played at BBC Radio 1’s Big Weekend.

Revellers were assured they would get would enjoy the ‘rich tradition’ of ‘delightful music, inspiring fireworks and enchanting cuisine’.

The dress code was given as white tie, black tie or national dress, with guests warned that they needed to be seated by 7.20pm.

Students could tuck in to oysters, a hog roast and a chocolate fountain at the five-course meal – which was advertised as being ‘unlimited’ in the ticket price.  

The first Trinity May Ball was held in 1866, with the tradition quickly spreading to other colleges, with students looking forward to the 156th anniversary event this year.

It is the first time May Balls have been held at the university since the Covid pandemic.

Students of Trinity College donned their best frocks for the evening, with many girls carrying around flowers the morning after the party

Dozens of boats were put on the river to mark Trinity College’s ball, with the first initially to mark a successful May Bumps rowing races. Students could tuck in to oysters, a hog roast and a chocolate fountain at the five-course meal

Two girls made sure that they kept warm throughout the evening and early hours by wrapping themselves in a silver blanket while walking home

Around 1800 undergraduates dressed in lavish ball gowns and tuxedos for the 156th lavish end-of-term party, smiling as they posed for pictures with their friends

Drunken students packed the banks of the river to watch an elaborate fireworks display towards the end of the evening, and enjoyed a performance by Priya Ragu and her band

Students were in high spirits throughout the night after the party at the prestigious colleges, with the ball being a sell out success after being cancelled for the past two years

A happy couple grinned at each other as they made their way home, with the girl clutching pretty pink flowers to her chest as they chatted

Previous events in 2021 and 2020 were cancelled, meaning the last events held there were in 2019. 

Students, in black tie and ball gowns, made their way home through the city’s streets as the sun rose on Tuesday – with some looking more worse for wear than other. 

May Balls have been held at the prestigious university colleges since 1866 to mark the end of the academic year.

The tradition of May Balls in Cambridge started in the 1830s with the first official one being the First and Third Trinity Boat Club May Ball in 1866.

Cambridge University students larked about by walking on the walls of Trinity College as they made their way home from the all nighter 

A reveller showed off his newly acquired ‘glasses’ from the bash as he walked home, having undone his bow tie to let his hair down

One gent even gave his jacket away to his female friend as he pair tucked into breakfast in an attempt to rid themselves of a hangover

One lad ditched his tie and hitched a ride from his friend on the way home as they staggered through the streets, while a girl clutched her water bottle

Hapy students look relieved to be heading home in their ballgowns, clutching carrier bags and wrapping up warm in their furry coats on the way home in the early hours

Students were quick to jump on the shoulders of their friends as hundreds of them made their way home through the streets of Cambridge in the early hours

One reveller looked a little lost as he clutched a pair of high heels and flowers, still sitting on a boat where the fireworks display had been put on the night before

A rowdy group appeared to have lost their shirts and covered themselves in stickers and glitter for the long walk home from the party

They are usually lavish affairs with ticket prices ranging from around £100 to as much as £640 for a pair of dining tickets at Trinity. 

The ball has been held every year since 1866, apart from 1910, when King Edward VII died, during the Second World War between 1939 and 1945, and in 2020 and 2021 due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

A series of balls is held to mark the end of term, with various colleges hosting them.

Despite now taking place in June they are still called the May Balls as that is when they were originally held.

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