Grad Ball 2014: What’s going on?


The Union has been suspiciously quiet about which acts are performing at the Graduation Ball in the two months since it was announced that Zane Lowe would be DJing at the annual event. So what’s happening? Howell Davies investigates.

After last year’s disappointing cancellation of headliner Example just minutes before he was due to take to the stage, SUSU announced that they would be pulling out all of the stops to try and make this the best Graduation Ball yet. Thousands of tickets were shifted before they went off sale in March, with further demand for more tickets to be released. However, after the initially promising announcements of Gorgon City and Lawson, followed soon after by Zane Lowe, the Union has been silent on the matter.

In February when the initial act announcements were made, the priority-ticket page claimed that SUSU were in talks with three more “very exciting acts”, however, these could not be confirmed at the time due to their busy schedules and the BRIT Awards taking place that week. With more than two months passing since then, what happened to those acts, and why haven’t we heard anything else?

Speaking exclusively to The Edge, a source within the Union said that previously announced headliner, BBC Radio 1 DJ Zane Lowe, has now pulled out of the event due to a contractual agreement which means he will be in America on 9th June when the Graduation Ball takes place. He did, however, promise that another act has been booked in his place who is even more exciting. A second round of “half a dozen” acts is due to be released next week through the priority Grad Ball website.

Acts including chart-topper Rita Ora and Rudimental collaborator Ella Eyre are both said to have been in discussions to appear at the event, but these talks have since broken down. 

Speaking about the delay in announcing further acts who will be performing at the event, Union President David Gilani said:

“They will be coming out in the next few weeks. We’ve specifically waited for all of the awards season stuff to go through so we could get to that stage. We wanted to make sure all of the acts were confirmed so we could announce them in a big way. We also wanted to make sure it was after all of the other event communications that SUSU was sending out, and I think that has worked really well.”

Gilani later went on to state that he is confident that the range of acts which have been booked will suit a variety of tastes, saying that he is “really happy with the versatility of the music they [the acts]will be playing, the stature, and also the atmosphere they will give to the different rooms.” When asked about the rumour that BBC Radio 1 DJ Danny Howard would be performing at the event, Gilani declined to comment. He did however, add that: “I do think it’s going to be the best Grad Ball we’ve ever had.”

With ticket prices reduced by £10 in comparison to last year, do you think the Grad Ball will be worth the money? Who else are you hoping will perform at the event? Have your say in the comments section below.


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