For those of us that attended, 2011’s Summer Ball was just a little bit epic. Our co-founders experienced things from two different sides: Sammy Siddique as a student attending and enjoying the ball, and Elena Cresci… well, still attending and enjoying the ball, but with cameraman Gavin Porter in tow. Have a read of their experiences…

by Sammy Siddique

Sammy with Tilly Ingleby at the Summer Ball

This year’s Summer Ball was quite an experience with a slight change to the usual indie bands. We saw the likes of The Streets, Chase and Status and Alexis Jordan grace our ugly, lovely university. Now, I will point out I won two free Summer Ball tickets at the Media Ball and so had a rather cheap evening!

The heels I wore were probably a mistake. Every step I would take, my stiletto would sink into the grass and I would look like Bambi taking his first steps. It wasn’t all fun and smiles mind, my camera did get broken by someone (thanks!) and refused to take proper photos so I had to resort to my phone.

Due to the camera drama, my house mate and I missed the start of The Streets, but still managed to catch Mike Skinner taking his top off… phew, is it getting warm in here? Chase and Status on the other hand were introduced by an extraordinary beat boxer, Faith SFX, who had really warmed us up for the final act. Picture this: several hundred, suited and booted students going mental over the sounds of Chase and Status, getting sweaty and extremely drunk. I took my shoes off several times and all the while kept thinking… “I hope no one treads on my feet!”

Not bothering to wait in the massive queue for the bus, the house mate and I hopped into a taxi and pegged it home for a quick bite to eat and a change of shoes before heading back out to Oceana to get our groove on once more. It was like any other Wednesday night, but slightly more emotional and dressed to impress…but what a fantastic end to a beautiful era.

by Elena Cresci

Picture courtesy of Holly Granger - with added duck

You may have spotted me around campus with Societies and Services elect Tom Upton, interviewing various students on camera. This project has earned me the delightful nickname of “Camera lady”, which followed me all around the Summer Ball…

For the entirety of my last week in Swansea, I was helping Student Swansea Events with promotional videos for next year’s Fresher intake, all in return for an Access All Areas pass at the Summer Ball. Experiencing the Summer Ball from the other side of the fence has proven to be one of the highlights of my year.

I arrived on site just shy of two and got a chance to wander around while things were still being set up. The Events techies were hard at work adding foliage to the Woodland Wine Bar and soundchecks were going on here there and everywhere. My co-presenter for the week was running around with gloves tucked in the back of his jeans in true techie style. This scene pretty much only scratches the surface of how much work goes into a Summer Ball – the team from Events were up nice and early for the whole week setting up the fences and the tents, not to mention the months of work which had gone into booking the acts.

Things eventually got underway, and after a few student interviews, I had my first chance at interviewing one of the acts. Friends Electric, it turns out, are lovely lads from nearby Neath who played an excellent set later on in the day. We caught them just behind the main tent, as well as Frisky and Mannish, who were first up in the main tent. If you haven’t seen Frisky and Mannish’s work before, you really must. I’d been looking forward to their satirical musical act for weeks, and they didn’t disappoint! In fact, after interviewing them, I bumped into a fair few people who were also excited to see them, which was lovely, as they didn’t seem to expect that many people to watch.

Other interviewees came in the form of new kid on the music block Chelcee Grimes, beatboxer Faith SFX, who didn’t seem a fan of Swansea’s hills, and we even got a chance to catch the Techies before they had to run off to move some equipment. There was a moment when we attempted to catch Alexis Jordan as she came offstage, but her manager was not having any of it! Unfortunately, we didn’t manage to catch The Streets or Chase and Status for an interview, but I was able to watch both acts from backstage!

Let me tell you, watching “Fit” from the side of the stage was beyond exhilarating. But possibly one of the best bits of the Summer Ball itself was actually getting to chat to a wide array of students enjoying themselves, whether they’d nabbed an Obama bomb from the innovative Bomb Bar or if they were all revved up excited to see Chase and Status.

My fourth Summer Ball was entirely different from any other I’d experienced, and being able to interview some of the acts put an entirely different spin on the entire day, and I’d be hard pressed to think of a better end to my time in Swansea.

Check back to see the videos from 2011’s Summer Ball! In the meantime, did you attend the shindig last week? How was your Summer Ball? Share your stories via comment, e-mail, Twitter or Facebook – as always, we’re all ears.

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