The biggest social event in the Trinity College calendar, the Trinity Ball, is Europe’s largest private party and is a black tie event. This year, in order to create a buzz around the event leading up to ticket sales, the organisers withheld the last act until today- revealing that it is, in fact, The Script.
Today, Facebook (which holds a massive place in Trinity’s social structure, far more, I think, than other universities) is awash with complaints, dismay, and general name-calling aimed at the Ents office. I think this is a little unfair- The Script, while not my type of music, are generally considered up-and-coming high-profile stuff- but it has to be said that this demonstrates a misunderstanding of how PR works.
If you’re going to keep people in suspense, there needs to be a pay-off of some kind. Deliberately heightening the public’s expectations does not automatically create a positive response- you run the risk, as in this case, of disappointing lots of people. And in the end, it amounts to a simple case of knowing your audience.
The reason that this is frustrating? Because the Ents office at Trinity has recently recognised the fact that the students there have, by and large, a preference for indie and electronica music. So much so, that they’re holding the launch party for the Trinity Ball at a new indie night called NOIZE in Andrew’s Lane Theatre on Wednesday. It should have occurred to someone that raising expectations, only to reveal an act that will, by virtue of their genre, disappoint a large number of people (there were rumours of MGMT, for crying out loud) would create negative publicity.
Again, I’ve nothing against The Script myself, and in my opinion, Trinity Ents and MCD (their partners in the ball) have consistently produced good results, and I’m sure it will be a fun night. I’m just agog that the potential backlash for letting the rumour mill turn without actually having a stellar hand didn’t occur to someone.