Get your kit off

Brian Byrne talks to Steve Sharpe, Societies Guild PRO, about this year’s Nearly Naked Countdown to one of the biggest balls of the year, the Clubs and Socs Ball.
The very last – and very best – ball of the year, the Clubs and Socs Ball, will take place this March 10th. To promote the event, Steve Sharpe, Public Relations Officer of the University College Cork Societies Guild, is taking some very provocative photographs of UCC students in what he’s calling the Nearly Naked Countdown.

The countdown, which features images of shameless students covering up their nether regions, is currently featured on the Clubs and Socs Ball Facebook page. Each day, a new nearly naked photo, branded with the number of days left until the ball, is featured as the page’s profile picture.

This slow release of photos had succeeded in creating hype around the Clubs and Socs Facebook page, and consequently, around the event. “It’s purely an attention-grabbing thing,” Steve explains. “People really want to see who’s next on the countdown.”

Since the beginning of the countdown, the page has seen a consistent increase in the number of daily visitors. Steve reasons, “When you’re looking at photos on Facebook, you’re secondarily looking for those nice photos of yourself and your friends. But what you’re really looking for is any gossip or scandal you might have missed on the night. This really taps into that.”

While other balls tend to reveal everything beforehand in order to sell tickets, the organisers of the Clubs and Socs ball have, in recent years, decided to keep most details a secret. Steve says, “The theme, the bands, and the VIPs in attendance are all kept under wraps until the very last minute. People only find out a lot of the information on the night. In some respects it does help, because some people are turned off by certain themes.”

But Steve is also aware that this might be more of a hindrance. “The secrecy means it’s very hard to sell tickets; you’ve got nothing to angle them on.” It appears getting UCC students to take their clothes off is a good way to counteract this. Steve dares to break the almost Fight Club-esque truce among the ball’s organisers to reveal, “Our VIP is an award-winning VIP.” He also divulges, “One of the bands that will be playing is the Roaring Forties.”

If you’ve been to a fair few balls already this year, or are unsure of whether or not to attend, Steve tries his best to entice you. “Clubs and Socs Ball is the ball to end all balls. It’s at the end of the year, and it’s the final hurrah for clubs and societies. Every year it gets better, and this year is absolutely no exception. We’ve made a massive amount of provision for the afters as well. There’ll be a barbecue, which those who attend the afters will be able to avail of.”

The Clubs and Societies Ball will take place on Thursday, March 10th in Rochestown Hotel. Full tickets are €40 and will include dinner and entertainment. Afters tickets are €20. Tickets will be available to club and society committee members on March 4th and all students soon afterwards.


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