The UCD Ball makes an on-campus comeback after over a decade

Image Credit: Unsplash

The UCD Ball, once coined as ‘Ireland’s biggest student event', will be returning to campus on the last Thursday of term, promising to be a return of tradition and to send off the end of the academic year with a bang

The UCD Ball is back! The long-awaited event will be held on the 25th of April, the last Thursday of term, and is returning to campus after over a decade. 

Once coined “Ireland’s biggest student event”, the event was cancelled in 2011 due to UCD’s refusal to close the campus as required by Gardaí. Although it went ahead the following year, UCD Ball began being hosted off-campus due to alcohol and behavioural concerns. A one-off stint at the 3Arena in 2014 resulted in a €121k loss, which resulted in the discontinuation of the event. A first attempt at a comeback was made in 2017 in collaboration with DIT, yet poor ticket sales made ‘The Ball’ a one-off event. 

In 2023, a trial run of the UCD Ball took place at The Academy; its success motivated the UCDSU to have the event come back on campus.

Speaking to The University Observer, UCDSU Entertainment officer Neo O'Herlihy explained that the Freshers’ Ball held in September 2023 served “to prove to the university that the SU can throw an event on campus”. Whilst the event was “obviously not perfect”, O’Herlihy revealed that the SU took on board the feedback on how to efficiently utilise the space available on the Belfield campus. Furthermore, the Ents Officer stressed the SU took an affordable approach to the event; rather than making a profit, the SU’s goal is to “bring back a tradition” and allow the students to celebrate the end of the year. 

The SU’s goal is to “bring back a tradition” and allow the students to celebrate the end of the year.

This year's Ball will have three separate stages. The main stage, in the Quad outside the Student Centre, will see headliners Gemma Dunleavy,  Le boom, Ispíní na hÉireann and HAWKE THE BAND. Astra Hall will host The Spin Radio House Party stage, whilst emerging UCD acts will be given the opportunity to shine on the Red Bull Rising stage in the ‘old’ Student Centre. 

Food trucks and bars will provide refreshments throughout the day. Additionally, students who travel to the city centre before 11:30 pm will receive free entry to D2 and Lost Lane. Tickets for the ball are on sale now for €35 with fees of €1.75 excluded, and can be bought through the UCDSU instagram and Website as well as QR codes stationed around campus.