Odyssey: A Journey Into the Unknown

Welcome to Brasenose College's 2017 May Ball.

Get details about the night by downloading the Brasnose Ball 2017 Programme:

Brasnose Ball 2017 Programme

About The Ball

Astronomy compels the soul to look upward, and leads us from this world to another.

Plato, The Republic, 342 BCE

On the evening of the 6th of May (Saturday of 2nd Week, Trinity) Brasenose College’s 500-year-old grounds will be transformed for our traditional biennial ball, as we take you on a journey through humanity’s interactions with space and the stars.

How do you begin to conceptualise the vastness of something more beautiful and terrifying than the brain can comprehend? Prepare to be amazed as we create a journey through space and time, from the sacrificial gifts and astronomical devotion of wealthy ancient civilisations to modern society’s endless search for knowledge of strange new worlds and life forms.

Guests will wander through 3 quads and over 1000 years of humanity’s answers to the wondrous and terrifying question of what lies beyond the Earth. Dining guests will travel back even further, with a sumptuous feast evocative of the Ancient Greeks’ conceptualisation of the stars and planets.

Come and journey into the unknown to celebrate Brasenose’s 508th anniversary, assisted by an unlimited supply of food, drink and entertainment all night long.

Read on to discover what the Committee have in store for this exploratory evening of wonder and merriment…


Food & Drink

The sky is the daily bread of the eyes.

Ralph Waldo Emerson, journal entry, 25 May 1843

Dining guests will begin their journey with an intimate champagne reception, followed by a sumptuous four-course banquet which evokes the Ancient Greeks’ fascination with mapping the night sky. Expect constellations, mythology and a sensory feast for the eyes and tastebuds in Brasenose’s stunning dining hall, where lucky students have dined for almost half a millennium.

Guests with non-dining tickets will also find their thirst and hunger quenched and satisfied in every corner of the ball, where a plethora of delicious options will be served: sweet and savoury, hot and cold, vegan and gluten-free, old and new — the choice will be yours, and the provisions are unlimited. Taste the stars like Dom Perignon with a glamorous champagne reception on Old Quad before journeying through the college to find neon-based cocktails & mocktails, and stay refreshed all night with a variety of classic drinks to suit the most refined palates.

All guests who stay until 5am will be treated to a fabulous banquet breakfast — one that’s definitely worth waiting until dawn for.



The oldest picture book in our possession is the midnight sky.

E.W. Maunder, September 1900

If contemplating the stunning sky above Oxford’s most beautiful square isn’t enough for you, Brasenose’s Ball Committee have prepared a tantalising assortment of entertainers and diversions to enchant our guests from your very first step inside our doors till the last reveller leaves.

Guests will find jazz ensembles and singers playing under the stars, with rides, games and revelry in every corner of the ball. Look into space and beyond with fortune tellers and a captivating planetarium, while DJs and live acts transport guests with thrilling 21st-century performances on New Quad. Keep your eyes and ears open as every space has something different to offer a multitude of guests.

As the event draws nearer, look out for further details regarding frolicking and amusements, as well as an exciting headliner announcement.


Buy Your Tickets

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General release for tickets is Monday 14th November.

Tickets have sold out.

Please sign up to our waiting list.


We need to have people up there who can communicate what it feels like, not just pilots and engineers.

Buzz Aldrin, 2004