St. John’s May Ball 2015 St. John’s College, Cambridge May Ball Committee


The May Balls are a long-standing tradition in Cambridge, with St John’s remaining the largest with 2,500 attendees. This year’s event was graced with headline act Gorgon City, whilst previous years have seen Katy B, Rudimental and Aluna George take to the stage, so needless to say the technical production and delivery needs to be faultless.

This is why the St John’s Ball Committee turned to the technical expertise of the Hawthorn team for the 13th year running, and we once again provided all lighting, sound, video projection, power, staging and rigging to the 5.5 hectare site.


Despite having worked on the ball for 13 years, each committee challenges us to design awesome creative solutions to fit around different themes each year, whilst load-in restrictions and the need to respect the historic architecture and the well-being of local residents must always be considered for a building of this nature.

As they made their way between the beautifully lit courtyards into multiple temporary venues, this year’s revellers were immersed in various magical themes including Narnia, Peter Pan and Alice in Wonderland. The main feature this year was a stunning projection onto St John’s Chapel tower, where we used some of our latest kit including our Avolites Ai media servers together with six Christie HD20K projectors. The Alice in Wonderland themed content was created in-house by Hawthorn experts within the Cambridge office using Adobe After Effects and CINEMA 4D.


"I just wanted to say a huge thank you to you and your team for all of your efforts in making Tuesday's Ball such a success. All of your additions really took the decorations of the courts to a new level - the Peter Pan shadows were exceptional and surpassed all expectations.

Of course the real highlight was the Chapel Tower projection mapping. So many guests spoke of how they spent a big chunk of their night mesmerised whilst watching the animation.

It was a pleasure working with your team and having your expertise on site made the committee's life so so much easier.

Again thank you so much for making the night run so smoothly and make it yet again a best night of my life for so many guests."