When you arrive at Kinkell Byre this Sunday night, it will be the culmination of a concatenation of struggles that led to you emerging triumphant from the fray with a ticket to Hogwarts clutched in your hand (or a receipt resting in your inbox). Every person at Christmas Ball will have earned their place, be they victims of the queue, victims of the Union’s constantly crashing website, or victims of a horrendously overpriced secondhand ticket. Alternatively, they could be members of the ball’s extensive committee or subcommittee.
Following ticket sales, the committee found themselves under fire from the huddled masses who yearned for and failed to obtain a Platform 9 3/4 – emblazoned pass to one of the year’s most anticipated balls. These tempest-tossed queuers waited in the cold and the rain, with the first to arrive spending ten hours sat upon the Union’s front steps. Based on this, it seems more time was spent queueing than will ultimately be spent at Kinkell.
Those who queued from 4am failed to get tickets; 2am appears to have been the ideal time to arrive. This was in large part due to the overwhelming number of queue-skippers, who easily quadrupled the length of the queue as daylight broke over the bedraggled bunch. Mermaids attempted to combat this by handing out numbers to queuers, but could do little to ameliorate the developing situation.
The main criticism levelled at the committee appears to be their lack of preparedness. Christmas Ball sells out every year, people say; surely the Mermaids should have expected such madness. It ought to be noted, however, that this year’s demand was unprecedented, perhaps encouraged by social media or overly keen freshers. Whatever the reason, the queueing mania appears to have developed in recent years: Fourth years recall showing up at half past ten in their first year, still able to purchase a ticket. It seems that the hype has grown at an astonishing rate, this year encouraged by an irresistible theme.
Regardless of how one’s ticket was purchased, the lucky 1500 or so ball-goers will all be in for a treat. Butterbeer, Christmas trees, and some wonderful music surely won’t fail to disappoint even the harshest of critics. Don your finest dress robes and prepare for a magical evening.