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Tickets | On the Night | Dress Code


Where can I buy tickets?
Tickets will go on sale on Fri 29th Nov at essex.su/summerball and can also be purchased from SU reception.

How many tickets can I buy?
With an Essex University student card you can buy a ticket for yourself and guests. 
Students from other Universities and colleges cannot buy tickets with their student card, although they can be the guest of an Essex student.

Southend Students must purchase the correct ticket as travel is included in your ticket. If you buy a Colchester Ticket, you will have to make your own way to and from the event. Departure times from the Southend campus will be advertised closer to the Time of the event. There are limited numbers of tickets for Southend due to transportation needing to be booked in advance.

What is my ticket?
Your ticket will be a wristband which must be pre-collected and worn on your entrance to the event. We ask you to keep your wristband on all evening. Please be aware that participants without a wristband or with a defaced or destroyed wristband will be refused entry or asked to leave. Wristbands will be available for collection from June 1st.
You will need to collect your wristband from the SU reception no later than 3pm on Fri 5th June 2020

There will be no Wristbands available for collection from the Summer Ball site.

Do I need a physical ticket?
YES. ALL ticket purchasers must pick up their wristband from the Students’ Union reception, before the event. No one will be granted access to the event without their wristband, student card or ID. Lost wristbands cannot be replaced or refunded so, please keep them safe. 

My wristband is too tight, what can I do?
Once the wristband is on your wrist it cannot be loosened, so, please be careful when tightening it.

Can people who aren't students attend?
Yes. Guests do not have to be students. Please be aware that the Summer Ball is only for people over the age of 18.

Is there a good turn out of non-final year students and staff at the Summer Ball?
The Summer Ball attracts students from every walk of life - the diversity of the attractions and acts means that there is something for everyone at the Summer Ball. Mature and postgraduate students are well represented at the event, and all years are welcome, whether they’re Freshers or otherwise!

Is food included in the ticket price?
No, however, there are many festival style food outlets at the Summer Ball serving a range of food. We advise you to eat a good, healthy meal before you set off from home.

I have lost my wristband. What do I do next?
There are no refunds available. Lost wristbands cannot be replaced and will need to be re-purchased

Can alumni attend?
Essex alumni are more than welcome to attend the Summer Ball. You can purchase tickets online as normal for the same price as current students. We are aware that some Alumni will be travelling to this event and picking up your wristband beforehand is not possible. We have therefore organised an Alumni pick-up stand at the ball where you can exchange your purchase receipt for a wristband. You will need to present your alumni card at this point. If you do not have an alumni card you can request one from the alumni office at the University.  Please note the pick-up stand is a service for Alumni only! Current students need to pick up their wristband before the event as is explained above.


Do I have to be in by a certain time?
The doors open at 8 pm for priority ticket holders, 9 pm for general tickets, and to make sure you have the maximum amount of time to play, we’ve introduced an “everybody in by 10:00pm” rule. So make sure you’re in before then.

How much money should I bring with me?
We can't advise how much money to bring with you to the Summer Ball - that's up to you. We do recommend purchasing a reasonable amount of vouchers and then topping up if you need more. Vouchers are non-refundable so please don't buy too many.

Can I use a Credit or Debit Card to buy Vouchers?
Yes you'll be able to buy Vouchers using a credit or debit card from certain tills at the Ball Bank.

How does the cashless bar work?
You will need to buy Ball vouchers in order to buy drinks and food. Just like at festivals you can buy your vouchers on arrival and throughout the night from the "Ball Bank" voucher station. They will be redeemable at all the bars to buy drinks and for food.

When can I buy vouchers?
There will be ticket sellers in the queue as you arrive at Summer Ball and once you enter there will be a "Ball Bank" located just after the entrance where you can purchase vouchers as you need them throughout the night. You can pay by cash or card.
Vouchers come in denominations of £1 and £5. You will also be able to buy your vouchers online, in advance of the event.

Where can I use my vouchers?
Your vouchers will be valid at all SU Food stalls and bars.

Can I refund my vouchers if I don't use them all?
Vouchers are non-refundable and have no value after the Summer Ball. You can purchase vouchers throughout the night.

Why do you use the voucher system?
The main reason for using this system is to make things quicker and safer. The last two years of using vouchers were very successful. You won't need to carry as much cash around with you. It is also safer for our staff and reduces insurance costs. The bar service will be quicker, and drink prices will be more in line with usual venue prices.

Is the fairground free?
The cost of your ticket covers all of the attractions on the site, including the fairground rides which means you can jump on them as often as you want!

How do I make sure that I don't lose my friends?
Make a meeting point at the event so you will be able to find your friends easily if you lose them in the festivities. It's pretty difficult to get through to friends on their mobile when they're partying in one of the tents - by having a meeting point you know where to find each other if you get separated - texts are often the best way to get in touch at the Ball.

Do you search people on the way into the ball?
Yes, we reserve the right to operate searches in order to prevent alcohol and other items entering the Summer Ball.

Is there car parking available on the night?
Car Parking will be available in the Multi Storey, Car Park B and North Towers Car Park.

Can I leave the Ball and come back later?
There is no re-admission and you must be in by 10:00pm.

How do I get home?
Taxis will be available throughout the night, and there'll be a taxi stand near the ball site.

Dress Code

Is it strictly black tie?
We ask that everyone makes a real effort at the event. That doesn't necessarily mean tuxedo and bow tie (although most of the guys wear a tux), and we will accept suits and ties.

Is it more ball dress style for girls or cocktail dress style?
Cocktail dresses or ball dress are both popular at the Ball. However, the dress code is not intended to be set in stone for girls.

Is there a cloakroom?
Yes. There’s even a shoe cloakroom at this year’s event – so you can bring a pair of comfy shoes for later in the night!

Should I bring something warm for later in the evening?
We recommend that you bring something to wrap up in - it can get chilly at 2am outside of the arenas, even in summer! You can always put it in the cloakroom early in the evening and pick it up later on.