Business Cornwall’s Morveth Ward caught up with Masked Ball Productions events manager, Kelvin Batt, to discover how the biannual ball evolved and why it is now such an important date in the social calendar.
The Masked Ball kicked off in 2007 and has absolutely exploded since that conception. Who now doesn’t know about the Ball in Cornwall?!
Given the size of the venue, line-up and just the general scale of the event, I expected it to have been started by either the land-owner of the original venue, or perhaps a larger parent company with a history of events and substantial financial backing.
Not the case.
Just a local lad originally from Praze-an-Beeble with a vision and accompanying determination together with a deep understanding of what local revellers, like himself, would want from an event. From here it’s just built up overtime with a practical trial and error approach which was done whilst initially working in a fish and chip shop and as a labourer.
With zero sponsorship, creating a successful event is no easy feat, an event of this scale is going to be risky – so many overheads including staging, marquees, DJs, staff, security, insurance etc etc. Not forgetting 6 months worth of event planning!
Undoubtedly one of the greatest risks can be our beloved Cornish weather which left the 2013 Halloween ball with an impassably muddy car park and long queues, with many not even making it to the event and turning back.
This left the productions company in debt, but admirably Kelvin and the team just picked themselves up persevered and bounced back with another fantastic and successful subsequent event in May 2014.
What is also humbling is that the local community is at the heart of the Ball. Seeing the employment of around 100 staff near the time of the event, B&Bs fully booked, busy streets and bringing a real buzz to the area. It brings some action to our county and the autumn ball breaks up what can sometimes be quite a tedious and boring period, people look forward to it/prepare for weeks if not months!
The community also benefits financially, with the Masked Ball recently donating £2k to Helston Mayor, Mike Thomas, which will go to chosen charities, Helston Community Hospital League of Friends and a fund for enterprising young people.
Kelvin said: “It’s great for the Masked Ball to be in the position to be able to give a little bit back to Helston.
“With every Masked Ball, we aim to support local charities. We were so pleased to be able to keep the Halloween Masked Ball local and hope the influx of the guests will be a good thing for Helston.
“We’ve had so much help from the local authorities and local businesses, and this is our way of saying ‘Thanks’.”
The 2014 Halloween Ball sold all 3500 tickets in record time and Kelvin would in the future like to see this being the biggest Halloween event in Europe. Whilst we are all partying hard at the Ball, Kelvin will be on soft drinks getting his high from realising what he has helped to create and seeing it all unfold. Something to be incredibly proud of and a big achievement that Kelvin and the team can treasure for life.
Now. LET’S PARTY!