Despite the roller coaster of controversy which led up to this year's Summer Ball, the event last night saw over fifteen hundred Imperial College students partying the night away across the South Kensington Campus, which was transformed into a high-tech, tasteful venue with a happy, carnival-like atmosphere.
There were no endless supplies of free 'Moet et Chandon', 'Pimms' or caviar, but the Union Entertainments manager certainly brought a bit of his Cambridge Ball magic to the celebrations... without the £100 ticket prices!
The outside concert stage was controversially scrapped this year, but made way for a marquee on the Queens Lawn, and allowed headline acts to perform to three packed dance floors right through until 3am.
Radio One DJs 'The Dreem Teem' hotfooted it from the 'Eminem' concert in Milton Keynes to entertain crowds in an unrecognisable Great Hall. In the JCR 'Grooverider' played Drum 'n' Base, while ex Union Ents manager and 'SchoolDisco.com' DJ Mark Horne kept the hundreds of hardcore cheese fans happy in the MDH. ICU's own Jazz Big Band and other acts were also very popular in the chilled out, classy atmosphere of the Marquee.
A four-piece funfair kept revellers entertained between dances, with the dodgems and big wheel proving the biggest hit. Guests young and old queued for up to an hour to ride on the big wheel. And when the rides closed at midnight one disappointed Imperial student was quoted as suggesting that 'they should have run a numbered queuing system, like the deli counter in Tescos'!
Event sponsors 'Shell' even arranged for a Formula One Ferrari to be suspended from the Queen's Tower and illuminated in glorious Technicolor providing that extra 'wow' factor in true Imperial 'just because we can' style.
Although ticket sales had been initially slow, it is understood that over one hundred and fifty last minute tickets were sold on Saturday morning, taking final ticket sales to over fifteen hundred. A source close to the Union President confirmed that the Ball had been a financial success, with sponsors 'Shell' so pleased that it is rumoured a deal for next year could be struck within the week.