The Oxford University Polo Club (OUPC) is announcing that it will be having its White-Tie 2022 Ball at the Natural History Museum in London on May 14th, in an exclusive statement delivered to the Oxford Student. The club has also confirmed that tickets will be released for all Oxford students to purchase on the February 26th at 1 p.m., at a price of £245 each plus booking fees online.
The theme of the 2022 ball is The Great Gatsby, with the club expecting 600 people to be attending. While the ball is traditionally a more private affair, OUPC has decided to scale up the event this year. It has also produced a video announcing the event, sent to the Oxford Student.
In a comment to the Oxford Student, OUPC explained that the intention to organise a bigger and more inclusive ball is to reflect the club’s more diverse and larger-than-ever membership, adding that polo at the University is “far more accessible than most people think” and that lessons are ‘heavily subsidised’. “You don’t need your own horse to play, nor do you need to be incredibly wealthy [to participate]” said the club.
Given the choice of the Natural History Museum in London as the venue this year, the club has offered to give guests a private tour of the dinosaur fossil and skeleton collection, with dinner taking place in the Hintze Hall, the largest public gallery in the Museum where a blue whale skeleton hangs from the ceiling. Previous venues for the white-tie Ball included The Tower of London and Blenheim Palace, and have been covered by Tatler.
When asked by the Oxford Student on the considerations behind the venue choice, the club explained that it “enjoys the freedom to host our events anywhere we wish”, stating that “the [Natural History] Museum is one of London’s most iconic venues and provides unique opportunities” and that “the main hall enables all 600 guests to dine together, [which] most [other] venues simply do not have room for.”
This follows the controversy surrounding the Law Society’s Michaelmas 2021 Ball, which was scheduled to be held at the Natural History Museum but was cancelled the day before the ball due to a “difficulty with processing payments” and reportedly losing that society approximately £50,000. In their statement, OUPC assured that “unlike the Law Society, we have rented the entire museum, paid the venue in full and taken out a million pounds of insurance for the event.” The club also added that guests tickets will be protected.
The OUPC also shared that guests at the ball might have the possibility of “rub[bing] shoulders” with multiple world-famous polo players, and might have the opportunity to be featured in Bystander.
Since over 50% of the tickets have been purchased in a pre-sale for OUPC members and their guests, the club is expecting tickets to “go quickly when they are released”. In addition, the club will also be offering a ticket giveaway, which students can participate in via the OUPC instagram page.
Image Description: The Natural History Museum in London