Alternative Trinity Ball


After this years radically disappointing Trinity Ball line-up, it’s time to re-evaluate the bands we get to play the event. Lets imagine, with a new Ents officer, arguably less in the pocket of philistine event management companies, the best ball we could possibly have next year. What do you suggest?

Here’s one idea for a line up, this isn’t a ‘My Favourite Bands’ list, it’s a group of folk, all excellent, mostly upbeat, many of whom have a large student following. Most importantly none of the acts listed are too big to play the ball.

Main Stage

Go! Team
Sigur Ros
The Knife

Dance Tent


Girl Talk
Zero 7
Boards of Canada
Thievery Corporation

Alternative Tent

Magnetic Fields

Final Fantasy
Strip Squad
Jens Lekman
TV On the Radio

Front Square Stage

Fight like Apes

Regina Spektor

Realistically, nothing’s likely to change. No Ent’s officer, however decent, can wrest control of the ball from corporate interests. Word is, when tickets sold out in record time this year, Trinity got shafted for the unannounced ‘good’ Oxygen acts (sic). The ball’s become an event, not about the music, but about the socialising. That’s not the worst thing in the world. Trinity Ball is like a great big wedding, filled with mediocre bands and friends you haven’t seen in ages, all dolled up in tails and top-hats. But can you imagine, if they really tried, the night we’d have?

13 thoughts on “Alternative Trinity Ball

  1. That’s a weak day at ANY European summer festival. Ball tickets are equivalently priced to festival day tickets, there’s no rental on the venue and far fewer stages, and there’s a much shorter time to fill. How about giving me an actual argument why it couldn’t be done?

    Plus, much more interestingly, what would your list be?

  2. Imagine having an act like TTC – I mean everyone’s too mashed to care what’s going on in the first place, so a group of hyperactive French rappers with dirty electro beats would probably go down a treat.

  3. Given that the Knife don’t play live, and you’ve given Mr. Magnetic Merritt a bad impression of Trinity students, I’m not sure its THAT realistic. Just three off that list would easily beat this year’s list though.

    Would the majority of Trinity students want to see Squarepusher or Boards of Canada? I think Vitalic was a good choice for mass appeal, some more dance bands down that route would be the way to go next year. Tiga, Ladytron, and the Faint would be all more admirable than Mark “Cause My Own Songs Are Shit” Ronson.

    M.I.A. would be the perfect headliner, really. Appeals to everybody, party atmosphere, and would look damn fine in a fluoro tux. Here’s to 2009.

  4. Dan,
    Poor ol Stevie wonder has a bad impression of the human race period; and the knife did tour in 2006 so who’s to say they wouldn’t do so again? Not sure Vitalic was that great a compromise, most folk who don’t watch top of the pops or whatever you crazy kids are into had never heard of the fucker.

  5. “Ball tickets are equivalently priced to festival day tickets”, other festivals have upwards of 30,000 people attending, Trinity Ball has 6,000 and for the last two years MCD have made a loss on the Ball or so they say… I think Dan is right, realistically about 3 or 4 of the people you mentioned would do.

    I think what the Ball needs to do is go for those up and coming bands on the cusp of greatness. Like for example Justice last year were known by most people but this year they’re massive. If the Ents officer just had the sense to pick the best from the mid level bands at Oxegen, we’d be laughing. Because lets face it, every band or nearly every band who play the ball are also playing oxegen.

  6. The economics of the Ball are weird enough. 6500 people pay €76 quid each to go, working out at just under €500,000. Like Gareth says, there’s no ground rental and even giving €100,000 for insurance, equipment and staff that still a huge pot of cash to play with. Going on the figures MCD go by, for instance I’m fairly sure I heard they charged ents €12000 for Roisin Murphy for the freshers ball a few years back, then the level of bands desired by Mr. Stack are well within the pricing. There are only 4 stages, each one needing 4 acts. What with the necessary young Irish bands quota- which I think should be well encouraged, it is still easy to imagine a few decent acts. There only needs to be 4 established acts plus a few up and coming ones for it be a really worthwhile ball.
    I suspect someone made a big chunk of cash the other night. Going through the list of acts and even assigning inflated fees, there’s still nearly €200,000 left over. This is all conjecture, obviously. This is not, obviously, taking into account Bren’s assertion that the bands playing the ball are doing so because of obligations in their Oxygen contracts. They will be paid a lot less than we/I think.
    The event organisers need to and ought to, from their stand point, be trying to make as much money out of this as possible, the ents office need to be pushing for bigger and better balls. The problem is the length of contract signed- there’s not too much that can be done about it. A shorter contract would have ensured that the line-up had to be consistently improving, although it would have, nearly undoubtedly, led to more expensive tickets.

    Anyway, I would humbly submit my line up;

    Main Tent,
    DJ Shadow

    2 Many DJ’s
    DJ Yoda
    SebastiAn and Kavinsky (Much better together)
    Girl Talk

    Second Tent,
    Final Fantasy
    Fight Like Apes
    Ugly Megan

    Front Square,
    Cover bands all the way

  7. Oh and to preemptively defend my choices, they are populist whilst still being decent live acts that I happen to have found myself dancing like a loon too. I would add Scroobius Pip vs Dan le Sac to the second tent as well, in the final slot.


  8. Bren – That’s actually nonsence. The ball has a much lower attendence, but also a much smaller number of tents and much lower running costs (i.e.: no venue rental). Do the math – or actually just read Andrews bit, he already has. The organisers likely make as much as 300k a year on the thing, pure profit.

  9. You are completly right about the trinity ball. It is a playground for the under-talented,over-hyped bands. If the organisers in trinity could get some proper sponsership it would solve everything. For example, if they did a deal with RTE so the gig was televised,who isnt to say that trinity couldnt get world renowned acts. With the pulling power of the name of trinity, I think we could get a band like radiohead to play, THey love playin beautiful sttings, i.e Malahide castle,edinburgh etc. They are a real possibility. ANd,there is no harm in enquiring. You might aswell go to the top and work your way down than just accept the bands that played in freshers’ week.
    My line-up

    Main tent
    Vampire Weekend
    Hot CHip

    Dance Tent
    SebastiAn Kavinsky
    Simian Mobile Disco
    Girl Talk

    Alternative Tent
    Clap your Hands Say yeah
    Fight Like Apes
    Tv On The Radio

    Front Square
    Sigur Ros
    The National
    Battle Of Bands Champion

    This line-up goes for quality over quantity which I think the ents crowd should go for. And I believe with tv sponsership, a line-up of this magnitude is very achievable.

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