Tickets for this year’s Arts Ball sold out just hours after going on sale, according to the event’s organisers. The event takes place this Thursday, 4th February at the Royal Marine Hotel in Dún Laoghaire.

The Ball had originally intended to host 25 to 30 tables, but has been expanded to include 40 tables as a result of the high demand for dinner tickets. Tickets for an after-party, which earlier had not been arranged, have also been made available in response to the significant demand.

Students’ Union Arts Programme Officer, Jonny Cosgrove, said that even at the increased capacity the event had been unable to satisfy the demand for tickets, explaining that “we just couldn’t take any more in for the event.” Expressing delight with the demand for tickets to the event, Cosgrove credited the fast sales of the tickets to cost-cutting measures pursued in the wake of last year’s event, which had to be cancelled due to financial difficulties and poor ticket sales. 2008’s Arts Ball, meanwhile, only sold out on the day it took place.

“Last year when the recession kicked in, that’s when people’s belts started tightening,” Cosgrove explained, referring to the cancellation of last year’s Ball. “This year we really had to push it to make sure everything was as cheap as possible while still retaining everything.” Cosgrove expressed regret at the need to call off the event and said he had responded by pledging to make this year’s Ball a priority during his term in office, sharing that “one of the things I promised last year if I got elected as Arts Programme Officer would be that I would make sure that it happened.”

The Ball is being organised jointly by Cosgrove, in his SU capacity, and the UCD Arts Society, or ArtsSoc, led by auditor Niamh Kiely. Cosgrove was quick to commend the efforts made by the ArtsSoc committee, who he said “absolutely broke themselves to make it work so it was a team effort… we’re all really happy with how it’s gone.”

The feasibility of the event appeared to be in doubt earlier this year after ArtsSoc, along with the B&L Society, were hit with a €5,000 fine by the Recognition Committee of UCD’s Societies Council after being found to have distributed offensive posters for an event at the start of the first semester.