Electrical problems strike the union as thousands of graduates from the class of 2012 descended upon a totally transformed Students Union last Saturday, styled on the workings of the Harry Potter film series.

JC’s was buzzing throughout the day as tickets were collected until mid-afternoon, before the full on Union transformation began, both inside and out… Upon shifting through Diagon Alley and down Platform 9 ¾, we arrived in the Grand Hall (or Piazza) alit with ‘floating’ candles, stone brick work and medieval portraits of our headline acts. Following around the winding walls lay the Library where Butter Beer was served all night, as well as a medieval sweet shop, wedding chapel, cinema, chocolate fountain and our official photography. Even Hogwarts’ favourites Hagrid, Serverus and Harry himself dropped in but the union was also flooded with Dementors just passed 11pm!

However, before the Union could even reveal its transformation, an electrical grid problem shut off power to half of the Union just moments before the doors were due to open! But after the issue were resolved and the building checked over, and a 25 minute delay, Tuxedo Swing kicked off the night in style with a fantastic set on the new Union Lawn, followed by an alternative Cabaret act. A string quartet greeted our graduates as they entered, and the shisha bar, fireworks show, casino, fairground attractions and a few games of Quidditch kept us all intrigued before the big names hit Room 1…

I Am Titch, an up-coming young singer-songwriter who has worked with the likes of Nick Jonas, kicked off our main stage with her strong vocal performance, and was the perfect warm-up for the one and only, Pixie Lott!

Contrasting to last year’s Grad Ball headliner, Olly Murs, Pixie Lott brought a full live band on stage to bring her top hits from both her debut and second albums to Room 1. Her unique flare, delicate trills and cheeky stage presence got the crowd jumping with songs including Boys and Girls. Lott also made covers of Use Somebody and an interesting mashup of Ain’t No Mountain High Enough and Forget You! Her fantastic set was finished off in style with her number one hit single, All About Tonight.

Next came the alternative, Piff the Magic Dragon; a close-up magician who adds a comedy edge to his performances. With the prestige of holding the record for box office takings on a single night at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival with his debut show, Piff-Tacular, it was no wonder that Piff had Room 1 stunned with his sleight of hand. 

The Renegade Brass Band bought an edginess to the musical performances on the night, with a unique combination of rap, brass and scratching which gives this Sheffield twelve-piece an incredible funky-hip-hop sound. And last but not least in the late slot in Room 1 came urban-style DJ MistaJam, who finished off the night in style with a mixture of R&B, hip-hop, and soul dubstep mixes, getting the whole of Room 1 on their feet. 

Come 4am, those still standing after a solid seven hours of celebrating in the Union made their way out onto the new Union Law for the most honourable of Grad Ball traditions; the Survivors’ Photo! On behalf of LS Media congratulations to all our graduates this year and all the best wherever you may be heading. What a way to bow out!


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