No-one could ever accuse The Masked Ball of being conventional, capricious perhaps, yet always innovative and eager to push the boundaries.
It’s this constant quest of seeing just how far the envelope can be pushed that has earned The Masked Ball a loyal following of hedonistic thrillseekers, all keen to see what the organisers have conjured up next.
Masked Ball director and pilot Kelvin Batt expands: “We’ve tried to buck the trend by reducing the capacity and ticket price of this year’s Masked Ball. Where other festivals have steadily expanded and ticket prices increased – we’ve taken the Masked Ball back to its roots.”
This year’s Spring Masked Ball, sees a new concept called The Underworld – something that Kelvin says has never been tried before.
“It’s kind of a musical time machine and inside it we have put all sorts of madness; trannies, strippers. We’ll probably get in trouble but it’s going to be nuts,” he added.
“We’re bringing the event back to what it used to be – a ball with a carry-on. If you buy a ball ticket you get Saturday (the ball) with Sunday kind of chucked in. It’s more about the immersive nature of the Masked Ball and the atmosphere, we tried big headliners last year and they were great but its not really the essence of the ball. It’s more about the location, the people and the experience.”
We got the low down on 11 things to miss at your own loss at The Summer Masked Ball.
1/ The Underworld. This concept has been years in the making and promises to blow minds. With areas representing reggae, disco, hip hop and boogie woogie all in different eras like a musical time machine.
2/ The Hurly Burly Bar. A new addition to the Masked Ball. The restaurant-come-performance space is a much-lauded venue at Glastonbury and mixes fine food, chilled ambience with risqué performances and also some great bands.
3/ Get in a hot tub. A lot of people missed this last year but a hot tub under the moonlight after (or before) the dancefloor antics is a fantastic experience. Booking in advance is advised.
4/ The Gramophone. Another new stage by the Masked Ball crew; a huge gramophone winding out house and techno ‘till the early hour
5/ Coney Island. The Masked Ball crew took this venue on tour last year, and it turned out to be a massive hit, so it’s back as part of The Underworld. For those who witnessed Fangz at the Halloween Masked Ball, you’ll know the score; resident trannies gyrating to pounding disco – don’t stop ‘till you get enough…
6/ The Last Tune. On Sunday, Dicky Trisco with Pete Herbert will be closing the deck, always a special moment.
7/ Felix Dickinson and Austin Auto (formerly Drums of Death). These guys have been playing fantastic sets for the Masked Ball for as long as we can remember, always laying down the most cutting-edge music. They will be will be opening the proceedings on Friday to set the pace for the whole weekend; tickets are just £69 if you want to go from Friday ‘till Monday.
8/ Catching a Sunset. Get your team together and find a position for the amazing sunsets this venue is blessed with, in what must be one of the best position campsites in festival land.
9/ Psychemagik moment. The Psychemagik remix of Fleetwood Mac’s Everywhere has become The Masked Ball anthem – be there when they Psychemagik stick it on, playing with the ear wax boys at the Sunday session – the place will go nuts.
10/ Check out the Enjoy Chillout Emporium. These guys have a great retro memorabilia hangout in Truro and have jumped on board to make a proper chillout area and lovely cocktail lounge on the top terrace.
11/ Ballers. If you’re in the campsite, love thy neighbour, for they are the secret to the Ball’s longevity and success. The horde of hedonists who party with abandon are perhaps the Ball’s greatest asset. Making amazing new friends is one of the very best things about the Ball.
The Summer Masked Ball takes place from Friday, May 26, to Sunday, May 28.