Grad Ball 2011: Murs the true entertainer


Snow in summer? It could only be the Grad Ball 2011. Seemingly overnight, the union was transformed into a Narnian wonderland, complete with wardrobe as graduates entered and an eight foot tall Aslan figure!

As graduates emerged through the line of fur coats, they were greeted by the looming figure of the White Witch and Mr Tumnus at the lampost in Piazza. Attractions filled the Students Union starting with Loughborough's very own Tuxedo Swing swing band, the Narnia films on screen in the Council Chambers and a casino in JCs.

Outside; we stood star struck under a fantastic fireworks show and enjoyed a cool Kopperberg in their inflatable tent. Comedy was provided by many braving the outdoor ice rink and the beautiful couples getting "married" on the union lawn, with many a member of the Union Exec tying the knot.

At 11 o'clock, Room 1 filled up as Olly Murs took to the stage. It may seem like a lifetime ago since Murs "graduated" from the X Factor and it was clear to see that he has become a true entertainer over the last few years. Although his stage presence was undeniable, enchanting the crowd with classics such as Twist and Shout and Superstition, Murs' performance seemed a little "here's one I made earlier" as he used a backing track rather than a live band.

However ironic it may have been, seeing as the celebrations took place in a winter wonderland, we were not "walking in the air" with Aled Jones, but witnessing a fantastic DJ set from Alex Haydn Jones, Chris Moyles' prodigy from Radio 1.

The return of Tim Westwood to Cognitos bought an urban edge to the night, alongside the fresh house sounds of Wideboys and The Ministry of Sound's, The Cutup Boys. Nero shook the dance floor in Room 1 with their in-your-face dubstep sound, but the act I was most impressed, or perhaps pleasantly surprised by, were ThatDrummerThatDJ. Combining house, dance and rock genres with an extremely talented live drummer, ThatDrummerThatDJ introduced some truly live music to a somewhat pre-prepared sets.

As the numbers toppled during the early hours of the morning, tents were deflated; instruments packed away and dance floors emptied, heartfelt goodbyes were heard all around, as many years at Loughborough came to an end. The last act for many who had survived the night was the infamous Survivor's Photo at 4am below the Union Balcony.

A truly beautiful night in a wonderful setting was a grand way to end the journey of Loughborough University's graduating class of 2011.

Congratulations and best of luck to you all in the future!


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