Dating back to 1866, the First and Third Trinity Boat Club May Ball is a long-standing tradition for those studying at Trinity College, one of the many prestigious colleges that make up the University of Cambridge.

We once again provided full technical production for the most esteemed evening of the May Ball Week, providing lighting, sound, staging, rigging and power distribution for the all-night event. 


With the Ball renowned for having no theme, we provided striking architectural lighting to bring the stunning College buildings to life, enhancing the archways and sculptures that adorn the courts.

In a twist to previous years, the Committee decided against projection mapping on Wren Library, instead opting to enhance the naturally beautiful building with our LED lighting. By using a mixture of classic festoon and subtle LED washes across the site, we perfectly captured the traditional and timeless atmosphere of the evening, providing the perfect party backdrop.

With the many temporary structures around the grounds hosting an array of amazing entertainment, we created a mixture of different lighting designs to suit the various moods of each area. 

From the classy, festoon-filled jazz marquee in Neville’s Court to the Dance venue which featured epic lighting effects along with a full dance-club style sound system, we ensured every area provided an exceptional guest experience.

The fitting out of the big top main stage, acoustic tent, cabaret/comedy marquee and the Great Hall also fell into our remit.

Adding a new twist on proceedings was the addition a new chill out tent, covered in fairy lights and calming blue lighting, along with a bar tepee tent, decked out with squirrel cage lamps to create a warming glow


“The Ball has been a massive success, improving even on last year and the feedback we've received is solely positive. This simply wouldn't have been possible without Hawthorn's help, and specifically your help with converting our vision into a reality.

You’re seemingly endless knowledge and expertise on how to run the Ball, incredible main stage lighting design (which no other Ball this year has come close to matching yet again) and stunning Wren lighting patterns, I can't thank the team enough for their help and work over the past year and especially the set-up week. It's made the set-up and take-down so much easier for us."

Jordan Lawrence – Trinity College May Ball Technical Officer