The Freshers’ Ball took place in the Wright Venue in Swords on September 19th. Attendance at the annual event reached an estimated 2,000 people, a significant increase on last year’s 1,500.
Student’s Union Ents Officer Stephen Darcy was delighted with the start to Freshers’ Week and felt it was very well received, despite only selling close to 2,000 of the 2,400 tickets available.
Darcy admits that the Freshers’ Ball always budgets for a slight loss but believes it worth starting the year on a high note by “providing students with a quality event that they will remember for the rest of the year”. He noted that Lil Jon had a wider appeal to older students and received a great reception.
Despite speculation that a large number of guest passes were handed out, increasing the financial loss made, Darcy was adamant that no more than fifty free passes were handed out to those who had seriously contributed throughout orientation week.
“I wouldn’t agree with giving out a few guest passes as a strategy to pull in larger crowds as [a guest list pass] is so easy to come by these days – all you have to do is comment. I’d prefer, with something like Ents, for people to really deserve a ticket if they’re going to get in free.”
Following on from the Freshers’ Ball, the Saw Doctors played the Student Bar on Wednesday and Arthur’s Day saw the bar packed with just under a thousand people. Darcy is determined to sustain momentum throughout the year with LMFAO, one of the biggest acts ever to play UCD, being announced to play on Monday 7th.
Darcy is aware that the biggest struggle Ents will face this year will be a financial one, as students can’t afford to go out as much as in previous years. The Ents Office is launching several initiatives intent on supplementing Ents’ revenue and maintaining affordable costs for students. These include the introduction of two weekly UCD Ents club nights, Monday in Dandelion and Wednesday in Tripod, which will both yield a percentage of the door price for reinvestment into Ents.
The establishment of a set three euro Monday to Friday drinks menu in the Student Bar is next in a series of efforts to encourage students to go out, as well as Thursday nights, which will see the return of Thursday Night Live with weekly bands, a late bar until 2am and drinks promotions.
Darcy will be launching the Ents Executive this week, which is a current Ents Crew project that aims to get more people involved with tangible responsibilities in Ents.