Hughes Hall College threatens to cancel May Ball after release of raunchy launch video

Juliette Bretan 10 February 2018

Hughes Hall College has threatened to pull the plug on its annual May Ball after the release last Friday of an ‘overly-sexualised’ launch video.

The video, which features a group of men and women dressed in black with masks covering their faces, shows a woman dressed in white walking through the College into a wooded area, where she is encouraged into behaviour that ties in with the event’s theme, ‘Forest of Sin’.

The College criticised the committee for creating a video depicting black-tie wearers kissing each others’ necks and pouring champagne down each others’ throats. It was swiftly removed from the website as they believed it “reflected badly on them”, according to a statement by Georgia Ziebart, one of the Presidents of the Hughes Hall May Ball, to The Tab.

Joe Cook, a producer for the trailer, criticised the College for its approach, saying to The Tab: “If the College take issue with the video they should be promoting discussion about it, not censoring it and trying to cover it up.”

“I’m sure the Hughes Hall May Ball will be a great event despite this unfortunate censorship.”

The theme of the May Ball is scheduled to remain the same, though it is unclear as of yet whether the trailer will be reshot. Taking place on the 16th June 2018, the Ball’s Facebook event encourages guests to “ abandon yourself to your guilty pleasures” and enjoy “a full range of sultry burlesque and pole dance performances.”

Hughes Hall drew positive media attention earlier this year when it announced it would offer a discount of 20% on ticket prices to bursary students, in an effort to combat elitism and the high price of tickets. Currently, all £79 early-bird tickets to the Ball are sold-out, with a series of first-release tickets, priced at £85, currently on sale on the Ball’s website.

A spokesperson for Hughes Hall said:

"The College has a duty of care to its students, including their online welfare, and had understandable concerns about the nature and content of the May Ball trailer. 

"The student May Ball committee kindly agreed to remove the video from the May Ball website and social media until we are able to have a more detailed discussion with committee members on Monday."