This year’s UCD Ball has no definitive venue as of yet. At UCDSU Council last Thursday, Entertainments Officer Eoin Heffernan had said that the Gardai would inspect the two proposed sites for the UCD Ball on Friday October 12th, and a venue would be decided after Garda approval.
“There’s been no venue confirmed for the ball yet, so we’re still in talk with the university on two potential sites we have,” says Heffernan. “They [the Gardai] came in; they didn’t deal with the sites as much as I thought. It was like another de-brief, what we should be looking out for and the main problems from last year, and how we’re going to address them and fix them going forward.”
Previous years saw the Ball located on the pitch where the Sutherland School of Law is currently under construction, before moving to the now defunct running track for the past two years.
“The two potential sites are the running track and one of the car parks located behind the Student Centre. There’s building planned for the running track; they’re planning on building an access road around it, so it might not be available at the time due to that building work.”
When asked about the viability of hosting the Ball in the car park, Heffernan said it was a practical alternative to the track because the event takes two days to set up as well as the day of the event. “We can relocate the car parks, I don’t think that’s a huge issue. It’s not really that disruptive because to have the Ball, you have to shut down campus anyway. The last time the Ball was there [in the car park], I think they only sold 3500 tickets, but there’s potential to use another car park as well.” The capacity for the ball hosted on the running track last year was 8,000 students.
Another issue raised at Council was the need for the UCD Ball to be profitable this year, having incurred losses for the last few years, particularly in 2010/2011. Heffernan intends to plan production around ticket demand to reduce costs.
“To make it profitable, we’re scaling the gig to go on ticket sales… If we have say, 3000 tickets sold, there’ll be a set level of production, and then when we sell 4000 tickets, we’ll kick that production up a bit. So it’s not just one plan, we’re planning for three or different eventualities.”
Heffernan maintains that scaling the cost of the event won’t mean a change in booking ability; the costs will be cut only from the production side of the Ball: “In terms of scaling it up and down, it’s down to the planning stages. It’s basically just the equipment: the production of the Ball is the most expensive aspect of it.”
The confirmed venue for the UCD Ball should be known “in the next few weeks,” according to Heffernan.