August 23, 2022

Marquee furniture hire at Trinity May Ball, Cambridge

Marquee furniture hire venue at Trinity May Ball

Perhaps one of the most famous end of year university parties in the world, The Trinity May Ball is not actually held in May at all! The First and Third Trinity Boat Club May Ball, to give its full, formal title is held annually at Trinity College, Cambridge, during the month of June. Rio Lounge have had the privilege of supplying marquee furniture hire to the Trinity May Ball for several years. Why not read on to discover more about the May Ball, its origins, and of course, a bit of inside info on their furniture hire choices!

Origins of the May Ball

Trinity May Ball originates from a celebration of the First and Third Trinity Boat Club, for their win in the 1838 ‘May Bumps’: a set of rowing races held on the River Cam. Back then, this consisted of a night of heavy drinking at a local pub. Since the ‘bumps’ were originally held just before the university exams in May, the ‘May’ name still remains; even though the ball has moved to the subsequent month. The first official May Ball was held in 1866, and the tradition rapidly spread to the other Cambridge colleges. The event has taken place every year since then. (Cancelled only in 1910 due to the death of King Edward VII, and also between 1939 and 1945 during WWII.  More recently, it also had to be cancelled in 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic.)

Stamina required……

marquee at Trinity May ballPreferred dress code is the formal ‘white tie’, but ‘black tie’ is also acceptable. Attendees require good stamina as it’s an all-nighter: usually running from 9pm to 6am the next morning! Guests who stay the distance participate in a ‘Survivor’s photo’ at the end of the event. As you would expect, it’s a high budget affair. Students and alumni alike enjoy highlights such as as champagne served from an ice-filled punt, firework displays, and performances from some of the UK’s top music acts. Ticket prices are also notoriously high, exceeding £200 per head.

Marquee furniture hire for the May Ball

marquee furniture hire May ballFurnishing a large marquee (pictured here) was our main task. Because the furniture would be undercover, the client had the freedom to select from our indoor as well as outdoor range. Opting for our timeless Daiquiri Poseur tables (ideal for popping those drinks down whilst mingling!) and ultra-cool Ghost Bar Stools, the plain canvas of the marquee was transformed into a dazzling bar area. Our Ibiza-style Tobago daybeds added a touch of chilled club style. Meanwhile, ‘TMB’ in our vintage-style aluminium 5 foot light up letters provided a cool finishing touch.

Christchurch, Oxford follows suit with our outside furniture hire

Chill out furniture hire Christchurch OxfordBistro furniture hire at Oxford UniversityThe Trinity May Ball is not the only prestigious university party furnished by Rio Lounge.  This year we were also booked by Christchurch College, Oxford for their end of year celebration. Sociable chill-out zones were created using our elegant rattan Bulgari sofas in both black and white – plus parasols.  Our client styled the sofas with opposite contrasting tables, creating a unique look – we love it!

Meanwhile, our co-ordinating South Beach bistro sets looked perfect in Christchurch’s elegant grounds. Guests love these as not only do they look great but they’re ideal for casual dining and drinks.


As our busy summer season comes to a close……

Let’s just take a moment to thank all our fabulous clients for making this summer season so incredibly successful!  We have had a blast, enjoying every minute of the post pandemic euphoria.

Summer may be almost over, but there is always planning to do. It’s now time to get all your Christmas events finalised, and of course it’s never too early to get organised for next year! Everything sold out fast this summer, so make sure you don’t miss out.  You can call us on our usual office number 01582 232332, or send us an email.