Oxford’s annual RAG ball is in peril after as lagging ticket sales threaten chances of any money being raised for charity.
Two weeks ahead of the fairy-tale themed ball, which takes place on Friday, about a quarter of the 800 tickets on offer had been sold – leaving RAG facing a £30,000 loss. Updated estimates suggest that sales had risen, with around half the tickets being sold, although RAG’s estimations for simply paying the costs required 500 tickets to sell, leaving the organisation potentially out of pocket.
Ball-goer experience, according to VERSA sources, is taking priority, with last minute rooming and layout changes being considered. If this gingerbread house is anything to go by, we have to commend the committee’s efforts in desserts if nothing else.
RAG has launched a fierce campaign of promotions to boost sales – £79 tickets came with two free raffle tickets over the weekend, whilst sharing the ball poster on Facebook put you in a draw for two free tickets. (N.B that draw has already taken place.) With pretty decent raffle prizes (including ski holidays, free meals, gig tickets and gym memberships), the Ball Committee are really pushing to secure last-minute ticket sales.
RAG Ball president Beth Gregory commented on the ticket sales:
“This year, the RAG Ball ticket sales have been lower than initially hoped, as we’ve faced competition from fantastic Michaelmas balls and have been delayed by some technical issues.
However, the RAG Ball, although it does raise money for charity, is fundamentally an important way to promote RAG and its student-elected charities, in the hope that this will inspire students to become involved in fundraising events later in the term and throughout the year. We always strive to host a fun-filled evening, while introducing the four charities of the academic year and reaching out to the wider student body to show them what RAG is about and the amazing impact that they can have through further events.
This year, the Ball will be everything that was promised. We’ve worked hard to ensure that, with the lower number of guests, the outstanding quality of RAG events will remain. We’ve continually adapted the plans to fit the number of guests, and have made sure that the experience will not change from advertised; guests will enjoy unlimited food and drink, two music stages and incredible entertainment, including inflatable jousting and a crossbow challenge, while supporting us in our fundraising efforts. We hope that all of our guests enjoy the Ball, and look forward to guests fundraising with us in the future! For those who would like to buy their ticket, we’ll be running offers throughout the last few days.”
Undersold balls usually come with some benefits for those who do have tickets, no queues and an abundance of food and drink are usually a good thing. An 800-person supply of booze for half that number of people is certainly something we could get on board with. The VERSA staff who have tickets will definitely be drinking for two people in Friday night! #SilverLinings
VERSA advises the organisers to stop RAGging around and advises you to buy more tickets, c’mon IT IS for charity.