Once Upon A Time in Hollywood movie poster
Once Upon A Time in Hollywood movie still

Now showing:

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

Final Information »
Ticket info »

Downing May Ball

Downing May Ball is one of several biennial May Balls held in Cambridge to help students celebrate the end of their exams. The May Balls are one of the most iconic traditions and Downing is proud to hold one of the most extensive and extravagant May Balls in the Cambridge calendar, doing our bit to keep the tradition alive and help students from all walks of life create long-lasting memories of their Cambridge experience.

The Downing May Ball is held on the historic site of Downing College, set on seventeen acres in the heart of Cambridge. With few enclosed courts and plenty of green space, Downing May Ball is almost unique in the opportunities it offers to guests to move freely around the space and take in the whole Ball from its Quadrangle and Paddock.

Nevertheless, the Downing May ball will boast more than six uniquely themed areas, dozens of food and drinks options, and three stages where acts will perform throughout the night from 8:30pm all the way through to 5:30am the next day. With former Headliners including Becky Hill and Scouting for Girls, the 2022 May Ball promises entertainment delights that are certainly not to be missed! Please keep your eyes attuned to this space for the release of our Entertainments program and the reveal of our Site Plan.


The 2022 May Ball Theme is Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. This was originally the theme for the 2021 May Ball, which was cancelled due to the Coronavirus Pandemic. We feel that this theme is even more apt in 2022. During the pandemic, more than ever before, we turned to streaming and movies for an escape from our new reality. This is what the 2022 May Ball is all about. For one night only join us at the fictional ‘DMB Studios’ as we take you on a tour of the offerings of Classic Hollywood; Science Fiction, Spaghetti Western, Espionage, Romance, and more. We can’t wait to see you there!


Read our ticketing terms and conditions.

The ticket release dates have been announced! All tickets are available at noon on their respective release dates.
Current Downing Students - 24.02.22
Downing Alumni - 26.02.22
All Students and Alumni - 28.02.22

The ticket prices shown below are student/non-student/bursary. Guests will pay the same price as the person who invited them, except where access (or 2020/21 alumni) discounts are applicable. In this case, the discount applies only to the ticket holder of an appropriate means-tested metric as set out by the Committee.
Alumni in the 2020/21 graduation groups can buy tickets at student prices.

Current Downing students, and alumni in the 2020/21 groups, will be allowed 4 guests. All other Downing alumni may invite up to 2 guests. The guests do not need to buy the same ticket type as the person who invited them.

  • Standard

    Inclusive access to the best food, drinks and entertainments on offer. Standard entry ticket holders will be able to enter the Ball from 8:30pm.

  • Queue Jump

    Inclusive access to all of the delights the May Ball offers, and will be able to guarantee first entry. With a queue jump ticket there's no waiting around to get in to the Ball.

  • VIP

    You can enter the May Ball from 7:30pm, and will have access to an exclusive champagne reception, as well as entertainments and other offerings that will be seen by no other ticket holders.

  • Dining

    You can enter the May Ball from 6:15pm and will be given a full three course meal courtesy of Downing catering, as well as exclusive entertainments offered to no other ticket holder.

Howard Cinema

Access and Sustainability

The Downing May Ball is committed to access and sustainability and is taking part in both the Access-a-Ball and Sustain-a-Ball accreditation schemes for this year’s event.

For sustainability, we embed sustainability and environmental consciousness in all parts of the planning process. We have already taken steps to minimize waste, ensure the majority of food options are vegetarian, sourcing locally wherever possible, and sharing resources with other Balls. We cannot wait to show you what more we have in store to make this event as sustainable as possible!

Improving accessibility in all parts of the planning process of the Ball so that as many people can enjoy the event as possible is a priority. When an unanticipated access need or a specific request is raised, we will do everything we can to accommodate and make that person feel welcome, getting advice from DSC if unsure how to proceed. Please email ecoaccess@downingball.co.uk and/or president@downingball.co.uk if any of these concerns arise!

Producer and Director

Our Charities

The May Ball is proud to be supporting several charities in partnership this year. We donated a pair of tickets to the Pink Week Charity Raffle, and have two charity partners for our opt-in ticketing donations.

Our charity partners for this event are What's A Pound? and OneRio.

What's a Pound? What's a Pound?


Committee headshots coming soon - watch this space!


Samantha Creswick

Vice-President - Operations

William Audis

Vice-President - Creative

Lilien Gyabaah


Nick Lehrter


Isabel Ricketts


Shrina Patel & Farhia Rashid


Shriya Vishwanathan & Natalia Lee Wang

Musical Ents

Malik Majeed

Non-musical Ents

Madison Miszewski


Clelia Rebecchi, Reuben Thomas
& Fatima Jillani


Antonia Eckley


Elisavet Baltas


Hanna Ladbrooke


Zoë Dittmann

Access & Sustainability

Sydney Benjamin


Toby Boyne


Justin Wei