Magdalene College is the last Cambridge University College to host a May Ball with a compulsory White Tie Dress Code and that’s what makes it the most exclusive party in the May Ball calendar. Coming round only once every two years, its clear why the committee spend so much time working on the plans to make the event run as smoothly as possible. The market for event production in Cambridge is very competitive but our emphasis on unique solutions and attention to detail made us the perfect choice for Magdalene May Ball 2017.
Across the Riverside Site, Undefined Group supplied Lighting, Sound, Video, Staging, Rigging & Power services with a crew of 12 people working over 5 days to pull off the most prestigious May Ball in Cambridge. The site was split into around 14 areas all of which required varying levels of technical expertise, ranging from simple outdoor lighting or more bespoke lighting features through to full Stage Production. Many of the designs were finalised months in advance which gave us lots of time to plan the execution and fine tune many of our ideas.
Throughout the extensive gardens of the College we were tasked with producing a number of unique installations which would draw attention to areas which may otherwise be overlooked by guests at the event. In Scholar’s Garden we choose to produce a simple but very effective Festoon Canopy, of a very ambitious size! Using one of our Proltye MPT Towers we were able to create an apex of 7m for the canopy with strings of bulbs stretching out to over 20m across the garden. The installation made for a very simple but attractive solution to lighting the fairground area of the Ball. In other areas of the site we provided more simple lighting features such as Pea-light and Vintage Filament Light bulbs in the Orchard, spotlighting and gobo washing in the almost forest like Undergrowth area and more festoon with lanterns in the Circular Tree Bar.
Unlike some Balls, the Main Stage at Magdalene isn’t the biggest reason to attend, however the headline set from KT Tunstall was well received with guests queuing to get into the Court. Our design for the main stage was very simple with emphasis on having lots of stage space and providing simple but effective lighting and sound solutions. The PA System consisted of RCF HDL10A and RCF TT36A Subs with RCF TT25 CXA Monitors all controlled from a Midas Pro1 Digital Mixing Console. The Lighting rig was jam packed with Martin Mac Quantum Profiles, Martin Mac Aura XB, Lanta Aurora Bar LED Battens and Prolights StudioCOBFC Fixtures as well as Lanta Aurora Double Polaris and ETC Source 4 Profiles for lighting the exterior walls of the courtyard. Lighting was controlled from an Avolites Quartz with Mobile Fader Wing. The range of entertainment on offer from Ballroom dancing to a Queen Tribute Band meant that the versatility of the systems as well as the engineers was paramount to the smooth running of the evening.
As a first for Magdalene May Ball, the DJ stage was a welcome addition for younger guests such a current students or recent alumni. The main draw for this stage was the headline set from Kristian Nairn otherwise known as Hodor from Game of Thrones. This venue required something quite different to the main stage and needed to resemble more of a nightclub than a stage. We provided our brand new RCF HDL6A System with RCF TT36A Subs and RCF TT22A Monitors as well as Pioneer CDJ2000 and Pioneer DJM2000 Mixer. Lighting consisted of Truss Towers for Robe Robin Pointes within the main tent and a Prolyte MPT Tower with more Pointes outside of the tent. Showtec Sunstrips were also used on the front of the DJ Riser and behind the DJ Booth was a Video Wall made up of Chauvet PVP S5 Panels.
Magdalene May Ball was a huge success and feedback from the Bands was very positive with some saying that the stage setup was the best they had ever seen at a May Ball and that the Sound support was excellent. The Committees feedback was overwhelmingly positive, which was great to hear after having spend many hours in Pre-Production and on site to achieve the end result!