Murder on the dancefloor: are bops dying out?

Akshay Karia 6 February 2014

A survey conducted by The Cambridge Student suggests that the college bop is losing its popularity.

Although Clare Ents remains popular, an open meeting discussion at Trinity Hall last term revealed that the college’s bops, with £3 entry fees, were making a loss.

Outgoing Ents President Daisy Harrison suggests people prefer variety events: “Superhalls have been…full three out of four times in Michaelmas term, and we get attendances of 50+ at quizzes and 100+ at Open Mics (with a college of 380-ish undergrads).” Imogen Carner, President of Clare Ents, also notes that jazz, Open Mic and quiz nights are “more well-attended”.

The study also shows differences between colleges. Turnout is “very strong” according to students at Clare, Queens’ and St Catharine’s, but attendance at Girton bops after Freshers’ Week is “minimal”. Murray Edwards only recently held its first ent in three years.

When asked to explain Clare Cellars’ comparative popularity, Carner explained: “We put on a wide variety of music, including Cambridge’s best bands and DJs as well as some bigger names outside of the city.”

She also stressed Clare Ents’ unique appeal to students from other colleges, who are occasionally offered discount entry, and the fact that it has “a great history and a renowned reputation across the University”.

Some have put the inter-collegiate difference down to ents’ price and frequency. A Downing second-year did not attend last week’s ‘Roaring Twenties’ ent as “£20 seemed like a lot of money… [our ents] are so infrequent you’re never sure how many people will be there”.