Darwin College, Cambridge, May Ball

Tent Hire Case Study


Cambridge May Balls

Every summer the universities and colleges of Cambridge hold their annual May Balls. Over The Moon provided services to Darwin College continuously for 3 years whilst we were based in East Midlands . The themes and tents changed slightly each year and this case study focuses on the first year we worked with the May Ball committee. Cambridge City Council licences all the events and takes an involved and stringent approach to Health & Safety including fire checks, PAT certification and submission of Risk Assessments & Method Statements.

Client Background & Brief

Can You ...?

Alice in Wonderland/ Fairy Tale Themed May Ball. The organiser, Jo Balfour, asked us to provide the following services.

  • ‘Intent ‘ marquee to house 50-80 people max and space for a band and later dj/silent disco or/ Party tent + gazebo to do same job?
  • Flooring for marquee – dance floor – preferably wood rather than carpet
  • Sound equipment for marquee bands
  • Lighting for marquee
  • Possibly flags
  • Yurt
  • Arabic style rugs, arabic soft furnishings, lanterns (if you have?)
  • lighting
  • Sound equipment for main bands in ballroom
  • Lighting for ballroom – theme is Cinderella’s Ball so atmospheric until midnight and something more fun after
  • Possible equipment for DJ in small inside Common Room (they may bring their own)
  • Lighting for trees, fairy lights for a couple of areas and an archway
  • yellow brick road – yellow lighting effect on cobbled path
  • Staircase to ballroom – fairy lights?

Proposal & Services Provided

Over The Moon was delighted to offer a suite of services encompassing tents, decor, lighting, sound system and sound engineers to satisfy all the requests in the event brief. Over The Moon Tents submitted the requisite Health & Safety documentation and worked closely on the build with the college’s Burser and the city’s Fire Inspector.


The build gets underway. The build took 2 days. The load out had to be accomplished by the saturday at midday, so when the event finished at 2am Over The Moon went to work and worked through the night to clear the site.

The Yurt was set up on the island and functioned as a chill out space with cushions & low tables. A Sheesh pipe set up was provided bu another supplier

Lighting was provided by a specialist projection and imagery engineer. Over The Moon work with many such skilled event artisans.


Jo Balfour, the event organiser sent us the following email.


I’d just like, once more, to extend our huge thanks to you all for your amazing contribution to the Darwin May Ball last night. Everyone I’ve spoken to was extremely complimentary and people loved the cosiness of the yurt and the amazing projection in the Ballroom particularly. The intent and laser lighting really worked for the silent disco and I was amazed at how popular it was. Paul and Nick, you did a great job with the sound, particularly considering the frustrating restrictions put on us by the Council. Everyone was happy!

Thanks for having been so professional, flexible and easy to work with. I’ll make sure that I pass your details on to the new Ball Committee for next year’s event.