Perfectly timed to coincide with both the end of the first week of Semester 2 and the weekend of the biggest event of the American sporting calendar, the SU hosted the Freshers’ Stateside Ball on Saturday. The American themed event spanned The Bridge, The Stags, the Concourse, the Redbrick area and Level Two of the SU building, offering a range of attractions for guests, some of whom were dressed in American themed attire such as lumberjack shirts and ‘varsity style’ sports clothing.
Revellers were greeted by the sight of a Ferris wheel in the Redbrick area , which was reminiscent of the graduation celebration scene in classically American movie Grease. Alongside the fair ride were several stalls offering United States inspired food such as hotdogs, burgers and candyfloss.
In the Bridge, labelled the ‘Tex Mex’ area, a range of tribute acts gave performances throughout the evening. A Red Hot Chilli Peppers tribute band, named ‘Californication’, was up first and performed some of the band’s best known hits. They were followed by a Katy Perry tribute artist, who engaged the crowd in conversation (albeit in a slightly strange faux American accent) and performed with enthusiasm. Miss Perry’s lookalike donned a costume made of cupcakes that wouldn’t have looked out of place on 2011’s California Dreams tour.
For many of the guests, the standout performance was from the headline act, The Mariachis, who are best known for their appearances in the most recent Doritos adverts. It was easy to see that they were having fun with their performance and enjoyed a warm reception from their audience. They covered a range of well-known hits such as Human League’s ‘Don’t You Want Me’ which got the crowd singing and dancing along.
Level 2 of the SU building had been transformed and given an air of mystery for the event. White sheets blocked off certain areas and biohazard symbols were everywhere, giving an eerie air to the bottom levels of the building. There were even two ‘aliens’ (two sporting SU members!) whose costumes were large than life and scarily realistic! However, the bottom floor of the SU, formerly known as The Cube, was eerie, but this had nothing to do with the décor – it was eerily quiet! Although the event was billed as the ‘biggest event’ of the spring term, the Cube was almost completely empty at some points in the evening. The DJ was trying his best, delivering some interesting and popular mixes, but there simply wasn’t an audience for him, as the majority of the guests remained in The Bridge to enjoy both the American themed food on offer and tribute acts for the duration of the night.
Although significantly quieter than the Freshers’ Ball, it was clear that the SU had worked hard to put on a successful event which was enjoyed by its guests.