19th March 2020, Statement from Robinson May Ball

Dear All,

I’m sure it will come as no surprise to any of you, but it is with great sadness that I am writing to confirm the cancellation of Robinson May Ball 2020.

This is in light of the University of Cambridge yesterday introducing the “red phase” of their response to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, meaning that students will not be returning to Cambridge before the end of the academic year, and of government advice against large-scale public gatherings. The decision to cancel has been made collectively by the presidents of all May Week events in Cambridge, and so I would like to share a statement made by the May Ball Presidents’ Committee at this time:

Statement from the May Ball Presidents’ Committee, 19th March 2020:


The May Ball Presidents’ Committee have been closely monitoring the advice given by the central Government, City Council, University and College officials with regard to large-scale public events. With the recent move into ‘red phase’ by the University, the May Ball Presidents’ Committee regret to announce that May Balls and June Events scheduled for June 2020 must be cancelled or postponed. All ticket-holders will be emailed with further details.


As per our previous statement, all May Balls will release their respective refund policies within the coming days and weeks. While Ball Committees prepare to release these, please refrain from emailing your ticketing officers unless urgent. All Committees are working within different constraints and time-frames and are working as fast as they can.


We would like to thank you all for bearing with us through this uncertain time. These cancellations come as a blow to all Committees and College officials that have worked hard to make these events happen. We very much look forward to celebrating with you at events in the years to come.


This comes as a disappointment to all of us, particularly following the unfortunate cancellation of Robinson May Ball 2019; however, it is clear that no one could have predicted a global pandemic putting a stop to this year’s plans, and I would like to reassure you all that discussions have already begun regarding the best way for the event to move forwards in future years.

I would like to express sincere thanks to all those who have contributed towards making the ball (almost) happen this year – those of you who bought tickets, the Robinson College staff members who support us year after year, and last but not least, the Robinson May Ball 2020 Committee. This has been a challenging year, and the committee rose to it magnificently. The event could not have been planned at all without their hard work and dedication.  

Refund Policy

I am pleased to announce that Robinson May Ball 2020 is able to provide a full refund to all ticket-holders. This will take place within the next week, but please be patient and refrain from contacting the May Ball Committee unless absolutely necessary.

Further Advice

I urge you all to follow medical and government guidance in the coming months, to reduce the spread of coronavirus and prevent avoidable deaths. This includes social distancing, social isolation should you present symptoms or come into contact with someone who does, and diligent handwashing practices. Please go to https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/ to review the latest NHS advice.

I hope you all stay safe during this period, and wish those of you facing disruption to a critical time in your education the best of luck.

Anna Sayles

President, Robinson May Ball 2020


14th March 2020, Statement from the May Ball Presidents’ Committee:

In light of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the May Ball Presidents’ Committee would like to reassure students that May Balls are closely monitoring the situation and will follow the advice given by the central Government, Cambridge City Council, University of Cambridge, and College officials with regard to large social functions. As it stands, all Committees are proceeding with preparations for their events and are proud of the programmes they have so far put together. We will however react to the situation appropriately as it unfolds.


All May Balls will release a comprehensive refund policy within the coming weeks. While Ball Committees prepare to release their respective refund policies, please refrain from emailing your ticketing officers unless urgent.


Please note that the recent cancellation of Newnham June Event is not related to the outbreak and the Event will be releasing its own statements about guest refund rights.