Exeposé News Issue 628, Front Page (13 October 2014) and Exeposé News online (14 October 2014)
After a year’s absence, versions of the banned Safer Sex Ball (SSB) will return to Exeter this December in the form of two private events.
Created by The Enchanted Group – the company behind Exeter’s Enchanted Garden Ball – the first of the two events is set to take place on Sunday 7 December at an as yet secret location, while another function modelled on SSB is to be held at Westpoint Arena on Wednesday 10 December.
Facebook events for both the Enchanted Group and Westpoint Arena balls have proven popular, with 21,000 and 14,000 ‘attendees’ respectively, at the time of going to print.
The last SSB, which was held at the Great Hall and organised by RAG with the help of the Students’ Guild, had a controversial tribal theme. Neither of the new events look set to replicate SSB’s traditional premise and themes exactly, with the Enchanted Group encouraging revellers to dress for a Rio Carnival atmosphere, and the Westpoint Arena event opting for a winter wonderland theme.
With Jameela Jamil, Jaguar Skills, Jamie Liang, the Candy Kittens and members of the Made in Chelsea cast confirmed to entertain ball-goers at the Westpoint Arena event, details of the Enchanted Group ball have yet to be announced.
Exeter’s original Safer Sex Ball was banned in 2013, after CCTV footage went public of two ball-goers allegedly engaging in sexual activity, provoking scrutiny in the national and international press.
The fundraiser had previously been held for 21 years, raising tens of thousands of pounds annually for nominated charities including the Eddystone Trust, a local charity supporting AIDS sufferers.
However, continued controversy plagued the event, with complaints about a sexual violence joke forcing the organisers to reprint a promotional magazine for the 2011 ball, and 2012’s tribal theme prompting claims of racism. 2014 saw the launch of a replacement event – Exeter’s Prohibition Ball – raising around £5,000 for RAG’s nominated charities. The same year, the emergence of what appeared to be a return of the SBB sparked excitement among students.
Created by Cardiff-based company Electric Ents, the event attracted media attention but was later cancelled.
When asked for comment on the two new events, a Guild spokesperson said: “The two events that have been announced over the past weeks as The Safer Sex Ball and Safer Sex Ball are not affiliated to the Students’ Guild.”
Tickets for the Westpoint Arena ball went on sale at 6pm on Wednesday 8 October, while general ticket release for the Enchanted Group event began at 6pm on Sunday 12 October.