The SUBU’s Summer Ball 2018 Survival Guide


It’s the 2nd June. But not just any old 2nd June, it’s the day of SUBU’s Summer Ball.

Your day kicks off waking up in the morning, having a bit of a yawn and a stretch, before looking at the lineup for an impressive 301st time in a week. You decide there and then Summer Ball is going to be sick. You eagerly head for the group chat, where Rachel is debating just how much glitter is too much glitter (hint: there isn’t such a thing), or maybe Tommo is contemplating risking that pair of Reeboks on the Summer Ball grass. The squad tells him to. Madness ensues.

You hop out of bed faster than you have for your 9AMs all year to go through your morning routine. Your day of celebration, overly confident singing and dodgy dance moves has begun. What does your day begin with?


Pre’s are essential in starting off a normal night out well. With Summer Ball, it’s no different. If you have the responsibility of manning the playlist, then you can easily glance through the line up and select the artists you and your band of Summer Ballers wanna hear. Whether that’s slapping on a David Rodigan set, playing everything from Jaguar Skills to Oh My God! It’s the Church or seeing if you can get away with playing MK’s 17 twice in a row.

But these are Summer Ball pre’s. Spice it up! Head down to the charity shops and invest in Twister for the garden (weather permitting!). There’s fewer things more amusing than watching your mates contort around and over each other as you’re sipping on a vodka lemonade. Buy Jenga (or a version that explicitly does not call it Jenga) and write drinking rules and forfeits on every few blocks. Fill a bucket full of ping pong balls after writing dares and truths on them for a truly random game of Truth or Dare.

Travelling to…

Travelling to Summer Ball is a criminally underrated party of the day. Whether you get a coach from the Old Fire Station, a taxi or a Chapel Gate bound bus, you’re surrounded by people as excited as you are. There’s a special sort of buzz you don’t get at any other point in your uni experience, so make sure you soak it up. You can also take this time to check out the fancy dress costumes people have gone for. Whether you admire their effort or wish you had done what that loud bunch at the front of the bus had done is up to you.

The scenery

…and arriving at

You’ve arrived. You can see the tents and the flags as the bus driver carefully navigates the parking area. You’re itching to jump off the bus and enter the fray. I would recommend getting there as early as you can. As opposed to your average Cameo Wednesday, Summer Ball is popping as soon as it opens. Get there for 2 and thank me later. Soon, you’ve had your ticket checked and you feel as free as a bird. The waves of colour hit you, as endless amounts of party goers laugh as they walk. Over there is the group of 10, all colour coordinated as their favourite VK flavours. Then there’s a group of cavewomen who walk past them, headed for that massive tent over there.

You’re surrounded by vast yet inviting tents, with outdoor bars dotted around and with some bars in the tents themselves. I would really recommend going in all of them for a bit and enjoying the atmosphere. Each one is different and yet similar, each holding a different vibe and music yet filled with people all aiming to have a great time. Even if you hear some of the music and think ‘nah that’s not for me, mate’, resist your inner Danny Dyer (we all have one) and chill in that tent for a bit. You’re only here once this year. Get your money’s worth.

One of the many attractions

Aaaand relax

Well, you’ve done all the hard bits. Got through the ticket checks while suddenly feeling like a criminal, checked the set times over a dozen times and have promised not to lose your mates (best of luck with that). Congratulations! Like an adorable video of an animal being released into the wild, you’re free to explore a place that naturally feels like home. Explore the tents. Listen to the artists, bands and DJs you’ve never seen before. Compliment the people with the mad costumes. Get on the fairground rides – they are free! Have one more vodka Red Bull. Ride the excitement you came here with right until the bus home. Even by then, the experience might not have set in.

You’ll always remember Summer Ball, either because it was an amazing time or your best mate had to hit several tactical chunders throughout the day. De-stress after another year of uni, celebrate being with your mates and have a hell of a time. If you can do all this, you’ll have the best Summer Ball imaginable. Or unimaginable, if you’re feeling particularly rebellious.

I’ll see you at the beach for the 6am survivors photo and a dip in the sea.